Jumping on the Chalkboard Bandwaggon

Trying too hard to be cool tilted photograph.

Trying too hard to be cool tilted photograph.

Before I get to the chalkboard stuff, I feel like I have some ‘splanin to do. I haven’t posted in a little over a year, but I am back from blog death! Life got a little crazy, a lot busy, and I let the things that make me ME (crafting, making fun of myself, writing) go by the wayside. I’m learning about balance. I can’t do everything all at once. Between work, the doc program, and general life duties, I forgot to add me to the schedule. I’ve found that sometimes I have to work to keep myself healthy (mentally, physically), and now I’ve given myself permission to LIVE. I am the captain of my own ship. Okay enough of my existential diatribe; to the crafts!

So everyone else is making (buying?) all these cute chalkboard details. They’re everywhere! Labels, gift tags, on candles, on signs, etc. I decided I wanted to make a chalkboard menu (and I had a Michaels gift card that had burning a hole in my wallet!). Here’s the short backstory to the chalkboard: The hubby and I have been trying to reign in our budget (reign in me, really), so we decided we should actually make/eat the food we buy at the store. What happens is we buy all this food, then we get lazy, decide to eat out instead, and all the food goes bad. WASTE OF MONEY. I thought if we had a posted menu, and who was in charge of cooking that meal, we might quit throwing away food and there’d be less of, “I thought you were cooking tonight!” “NO, it’s your turn!”.

My initial idea was to have the hubby tape off a straight rectangle on the pantry door, where I could use the chalkboard spray paint I already have. Voila a very cheap craft (save money! He’s trying to make it my new motto). He had an even better idea. Home Depot sells pieces of chalkboard. We bought the 3′ by 2’ for about $6, and it fits perfectly on the width of our pantry door! I wanted to make the word ‘menu’ and the days of the week permanent (redrawing that every time? no thanks), so I bought an oil based white sharpie marker for about $4.

1.  I looked up “chalkboard menu” on pinterest to get ideas of what I liked, and then I went to town!

2. I used a pencil and measuring tape draw on what I wanted first and keep it straight, and I used a stencil to make the dots uniform. After I got everything done with the paint pen, I erased any visible pencil marks.

3. The hubby took it from there! He got liquid nails from the garage to hang it on our pantry door and clamped it in place until it dried (a few hours).

4. I wasn’t sure if the chalkboard had been seasoned, so I went ahead and rubbed chalk on its side all over the board and wiped it off with a towel.  Now it’s ready to use!

Damon used liquid nails to glue it to the door and clamps to hold it in place until the liquid nails dried.

Damon used liquid nails to glue it to the door and clamps to hold it in place until the liquid nails dried.

Clamps on all four corners hold it in place for a few hours.

Clamps on all four corners hold it in place for a few hours.

Here is the finished product!  All for about $10!

Here is the finished product! All for about $10!

The final and most important step is to season the chalkboard (rub chalk on its side all over the board and wipe off), then I decided to draw pictures for our meals.  At least I know what it means!

The final and most important step is to season the chalkboard (rub chalk on its side all over the board and wipe off), then I decided to draw pictures for our meals. At least I know what it means!

I decided to draw our meals. I know what it means, but in case you’re wondering…

M- steak, potatoes, broccoli
T- Meatless Tuesday (moved from Meatless Monday, because our vegetarian friend Vivien has a soccer game to coach)
W- barbecued drumsticks
T- fast food, because I have 2 classes in Commerce until 10pm
F- Valentine’s Day!!!

I’m so proud of how well it turned out!

Everyone’s Doing It…

Everybody is making mesh wreaths!  So, of course, I had to try it too!  Considering I’ve seen these big Deco Mesh wreaths going on Etsy from $150 and UP, I thought it’d be cheaper to do it myself.  Mine is a Christmas wreath, but it could be made for any occasion!

So here is my way to DIY a Deco Mesh wreath (told in pictures):

Supplies:

2 rolls Deco Mesh

1 wire wreath frame

24 pipe cleaners

ribbon

cute add-ons

hot glue gun

and maybe wire cutters

Needed: 2 rolls Deco Mesh, 24 pipe cleaners, metal wreath frame, hot glue gun, and cute add ons.

Basics: 2 rolls Deco Mesh and pipe cleaners.  Ideally, the pipe cleaners would match the mesh!

Deco Mesh: 21 in. wide by 10 yd. long.

Deco Mesh: 21 in. wide by 10 yd. long.

I bought the wire wreath at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

I bought the wire wreath at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

I bought matching ribbon and other cute add ons!

I bought matching ribbon and other cute add-ons!

Twist pipe cleaners around the wire frame at regular intervals.

Twist pipe cleaners around the wire frame at regular intervals.

Gather the Deco Mesh and twist the pipe cleaners around the end to get started.

Gather the Deco Mesh and twist the pipe cleaners around the end to get started.

Gather the mesh after about 6 inches to create a pouf and secure to the next pipe cleaner.  Repeat all the way around!

Gather the mesh after about 6 inches to create a pouf and secure to the next pipe cleaner. Repeat all the way around!

Here is what my wreath looked like after one round.  I decided I needed more poufs, so I added more pipe cleaners and started over.

Here is what my wreath looked like after one round. I decided I needed more poufs, so I added more pipe cleaners and started over.  It wouldn’t be a craft project if I didn’t mess something up!

Here is my redo.  I think it looks better with 24 pipe cleaners instead of 12 (making the poufs smaller).

Here is my redo. I think it looks better with 24 pipe cleaners instead of 12 (making the poufs smaller).

After Round One, I got creative and made bigger poufs and securing them where I thought it looked best to fill out the wreath.

After Round One, I got creative and made bigger poufs and securing them where I thought it looked best to fill out the wreath.

Tip:  Cut 10 inch long pieces of ribbon, snip the ends to make a V-shape, and tie in to the wreath to add texture or a splash of color.  Ribbon also makes a great filler!  Try tying three different kinds of ribbon to the pipe cleaner to make a cute bow!

I hot glued on my add ons, tied lengths of ribbon to some of the pipe cleaners to add texture, and tucked in the pipe cleaners.

I hot glued on my add-ons, tied lengths of ribbon to some of the pipe cleaners to add texture, and tucked in the pipe cleaners.

I am ever so proud, and now I want to make more!

I am ever so proud, and now I want to make more!

This is going to go on my office door until school lets out for Christmas break, then it is going to hang proudly over my mantle!!!

Now try and make your own!  If you send me a pic, I will add it to my blog!

Here is my most recent wreath creation.  My mom and I had a Valentine's wreath making day!

Here is my most recent wreath creation. My mom and I had a Valentine’s wreath making day!

Sparkly Spooky Centerpiece

It’s October and my mom and I where gearing up for Halloween and fall decorating.  We needed a few things (okay, wanted quite a few things), so we went to Hobby Lobby.  My mom found a three tiered pumpkin centerpiece she wanted, but it was $49.99.  Brilliant! We can make that for cheaper!  We started gathering our supplies.  I got three fake pumpkins of different sizes, one cream, one black, one silver glitter, from Target for $13.  At Hobby Lobby I got a distressed wood base for about $5; I had a 40% off coupon!  Then on to Garden Ridge where I bought black glitter strand stuff $7, a ‘pick’ (decoration with a pointy end to stick in something) of purple glittery coils $1.49, and something from the floral department with large purple sequins (didn’t use that part) and the spider $1.99.   My mom got three fake pumpkins from Hobby Lobby and green and orange sparkly strand stuff.

Perfect for Halloween!

I started by using multi-colored glitter spray on the cream and black pumpkins.  I used a couple of strands of green and a strand of orange from my mom’s stash.  I wrapped the black and green around the base, hot gluing in some spots to keep it in the place I wanted it.  I stacked up the pumpkins, gluing each one together and to the base.  Then I wrapped black in between each pumpkin; loosely wrapped green and orange strands in opposite direction around the pumpkin tower; and finished with purple coils and a spider (both cut from their original stems).  It didn’t take very long, and for $30, I’m super impressed with myself.  My color scheme was inspired by a FAB-U-LOUS wreath that a teacher friend has on her classroom door.  Le Sigh.  If only I could convince Damon that I need one of those wreaths, too.

The magnificent sparkly pumpkin crown topped with a spider and coil.

I sprayed glitter on the cream and black pumpkin. Definitely noticeable in person!

I just love my handy work! Now if I can only get Damon to let me buy the matching wreath!

A New Home for My Earrings

A couple of years ago I made an earring holder from a grease strainer. I got the idea from a friend’s blog: http://www.kristenmcashan.com.  Ooh!  I also got the fabulous idea to get Walmart baskets and hot glue yarn words on to organize my stuff!  Take a gander below.

Grease Strainer Earring Holder with a little paint, yarn, ribbon, and jewels.

Baskets with yarn wording to organize my bathroom closet.

I made this basket for my bathroom counter with all the stuff I use daily.

I loved it! But soon my earrings outgrew the grease strainer. It was messing up the Feng Shui of my bedroom. I needed a new idea, and in swooped Pinterest. I was planning on creating my new fabric headboard this weekend, but being sick (again!) got in the way. The Pinterest link took me to http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ where I found the idea to buy a decorative sheet metal piece. I put my own twist on it. I didn’t cut it at all. Instead, I had the hubby cut two pieces of 1 by 2s to go across the top and bottom to hold it away from the wall. I spray painted the wood with left over paint from my Ikea kitchen shelves. I hot glued the metal to the wood, and then I hot glued it all to the wall! I hung my earrings and found that this particular pattern is great to hook post back earrings through too! I just slide the back part through the larger scrolly part and slide down until it is secure into a narrower section!

Metal Sheet from Home Depot hot glued onto painted wood supports.

So much more space now!

My New Office: Stage Two

My Dad-in-law and I went up to my office today to work. Upon arriving, I noticed some changes had been made to my office. I’d been robbed! I feel so violated! Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic. My once furnished office was bear, with the exception of the desk, two filing cabinets, two chairs, and a small table and chairs. Now, that may sound like a lot, but here’s what I was missing: leather love seat (with cute damask pillows!), leather chair, cute damask photo board, all the adorable wall decor, books, stuffed animals, and a lot of resources. And here’s the worst part: my crate of cherished, hard cover children’s books and some organizational stuff was missing, too. I found a pile of it in the hallway and quickly reclaimed my organizational stuff, but my books were no where to be found. I talked to my principal (love her!), and she figured out that it was the previous counselor. After getting in contact with her, she and I are meeting tomorrow, and she is returning my books!

(UPDATE 8/9: She was so sweet! Her family had helped her move and accidentally grabbed my stuff! She had a welcome gift for me and said I could call her with questions! She moved the furniture and decor back to her house and took the stuff she bought, which is understandable!)

Dad-in-law moved my desk and made it sturdier than it was before! Then he went to work, and I got to decorating, organizing, and cleaning like a mad woman. Here is what I accomplished. You may recognize many of the items on my desk and walls from my previous How To post: https://whereismyhelmet.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/decorations-for-my-new-office/ .

Desk and chalkboard dollar store platters hanging on the wall.

This brilliant idea is courtesy of Jouleen via Allyson, my incredibly crafty friends! I didn’t include these in my previous How To post, because the pics came out crappy. The are Dollar Tree silver serving platters that I spray painted with chalkboard paint. Then I tied bows (I googled how to tie a bow and learned off of Martha Stewart’s website, because mine were deformed)and hot glued the ribbon to the back to hang them on the wall! So easy!

Dollar Tree mirrors stenciled and hung by my desk.

The chandelier painting I made. (So proud of it!)

Space to put pens, pencils, etc.

Office decor courtesy of Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar bin.

Old cork board that I spray painted black and trimmed with ribbon.

It looks much better, but still pretty sparse. My wonderful principal said I can get a couch, rug, and decor when the new budget kicks in on September 1st! Stay tuned for updated pics after that!

Honey Do Fund Part One: Sprucing Up the House with Ikea

The husband and I recently sat down and made a budget (that we actually stuck to for a month)! After all the necessities were taken out, we had some money left over to play with. We divided it up into different “funds”, and one we added was what my husband calls the “Honey Do Fund”. Each month I have $200 for working on our house to spend how I choose. Since Damon is a contractor, he will do most of the work, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t charge me for labor! After doing this stuff all day, he does not want to come home and work for free! The good news is that any money I pay him, he puts in our “Vacation Fund”.

So with my first month’s Honey Do money, I bought some different shelves and organizing things from Ikea. I bought a LACK shelf in white ($14.99), PORTIS Hat Rack in black ($19.99), and got two small AS IS shelves ($7.50).

I spray painted the two small shelves flat ‘Almond’ to put in the kitchen. The LACK shelf went in the bedroom to hold decorations (that the cat kept knocking off my bedside table). The hat rack is not for hats at all, but for lids in the kitchen! They were out of the shelf I really wanted for the kitchen when I discovered the PORTIS beauty (which I like WAY better!).

IKEA LACK wall shelf in white $19.99

IKEA PORTIS hat rack used for lids and pans

Small shelves for canisters and the green stand/holder I made!

The husband hung up all the shelves. (I said I could do it, but he said that push pins wouldn’t work, and he didn’t want our shit falling off the walls.) PORTIS and LACK were no problems! The two shelves I got on clearance were a problem. They were AS IS because they didn’t come with the hangy stuff (my technical terms). “No problem!” he said. Except, it seems, that there was not a stud to be found to anchor the top shelf, which meant a trip to Home Depot for some wall anchor screw things that pop open inside the wall, and, of course, lots of cursing. But my shelves are hung! And they look fabulous! And they won’t fall! And I am ever so pleased with myself for using a ‘hat rack’ in the kitchen! Now, there are no more lids cluttering up our pan cabinet! What a space saver!

Decorations for My New Office

I am the (EXTREMELY EXCITED) new school counselor at the elementary school in my neighborhood! It is the school my kids would go to (if they weren’t furry and four legged). Besides being my passion, being a school counselor will help me get all the hours (300 per semester!) for my doc program. As soon as I found out I had a job, I started shopping for office decor. I am a HUGE fan of Target’s dollar bin and Dollar Tree. I found a bunch of cute stuff at both places for cheap, and with a few other supplies I was able to make quite a few cute creations.

Supplies: acrylic paints, artist palette, stiff bristle paint brush, stencil, and satin finish sealer.

Caption: Tray from Target ($2.50) that I stenciled a damask on using acrylic paint. I finished it with a satin finish topcoat/sealer.

Caption: Buckets from Target ($1 each) that I stenciled using acrylic paint and finished with a satin topcoat/sealer.

Tray ($2.50) and blue buckets ($1 each) from Target. I didn’t do anything to them, but I thought they were super cute, so I shared!

While not office decor, I made this for the kitchen. Tray ($2.50) and candlestick ($2.50) from Target. They came in the matching colors, so all I did was hot glue them together!

Caption: Left: a spray painted candlestick ($1) and glass bowl ($1) The vase ($1) on the Right: vase with interior spray painted. The flowers (Garden Ridge) were 75% off, so I got two bunches for 68 cents! Everything else was from Dollar Tree!

Daunting Decoration

One of my dogs, Moxie, is a rescue.  We found her one October night in the parking lot of the softball complex where we play coed ball.  She had a cute lime green and pink collar, but no tags.  We discussed taking her to the neighborhood nearby to see if she was anyone’s pet.  When Damon opened the door to his truck, she hopped in and curled up in the middle of the bench seat.  We couldn’t kick her out, so we took her home.  She was muddy, so she got a bath and dinner before bed.  We let the local shelter know we found a dog and gave a description, but, thankfully, no one ever came looking.  She has been ours ever since.

She started out very skittish and docile.  After shots and a couple months of not eating trash, her true personality shone through.  She truly lives up to the name Moxie, which was given to her by my 3rd grade class (we took a class vote!).  She still is acts like a scaredy-cat occasionally, like yesterday.  I got a hanging planter at Hobby Lobby for about $7.  Now isn’t a great time to plant anything in Texas, but I figured at 70% off I can fill it with fake flowers until fall.  When I got home I hung it outside our back door from our light.  Next time we let the dogs out, Moxie stood starring at the planter and barking.  She wouldn’t even come back inside!  She hates changes.  (When the neighbors got a satellite dish on their roof, she went berserk.) I thought it would go away after a day, but no.  We come home from lunch today, and again she can’t take her eyes off the planter.  Damon has the brilliant idea to chase her around the house with it.  It ended up hanging from the canopy of our bed.  Moxie loves laying on the foot of the bed, but will not go anywhere near it!   When my husband is done tormenting my dog, it will return to its home outside.

 

Moxie eyes the evil hanging planter, while Ellie is unaffected by its power.

 

 

Take note of the headboard in the picture.  I am creating a padded insert to go inside the trimmed rectangle.  Stay tuned for my how to and any follies!