Feb 29, 2012

mod podge tray tutorial

Today I'm going to show you how I transformed the girly pink tray I bought at Target for $2.50 into something you might need to have around the house.

{supplies needed}

tray of any size (preferably smaller than the paper 
you are choosing so you don't have to tile the paper)

paper or wrapping paper

Mod Podge

brush (I prefer foam brushes)


Begin by cutting your paper to fit the inside of your tray. I use a paper cutter to get straight even lines.


The next step is to paint over your tray. I used Benjamin Moore paint left over from the paint sample. Normal acrylic paint would work as well. I painted 3 coats to make sure no pink showed through. Since I was putting paper on the inside I didn't bother painting that. A small trick I use to paint and dry the bottom is to place 4 thumb tacks on the bottom corners of the tray. The tray then rests on these and dries.



Once the box is painted and dry, paint the inside with a layer of Mod Podge and carefully add your paper. Start at one side and slowly flatten it to get out all the air pockets. Once you are happy with the positioning you are ready to Mod Podge the top of the paper and the box itself. I applied 3 coats at this point. The more the glossier!



Let it dry overnight and you are done!



This tray is not only great for a desk area. Use if near your front door for your incoming mail. Have one in your mudroom for your keys. Even one in your bedroom for jewelry. Make one a little more masculine for your husbands' money clip and wallet. It is a great project for kids to do as well and give as gifts. Enjoy!

Feb 28, 2012

A tray for my junk

There is a section of my kitchen which I keep for my own purposes. It basically is the command center, just not a desk. The top cabinets have cookbooks and boxes with everything from screwdrivers to tape. There are two drawers below the coutertop. One is the designated junk drawer. The other holds all our chargers. Below that is my printer, paper supplies and the kids coloring books and crayons. It is not perfect but it will do for now. 

On the countertop I used to have my computer. Since I have a laptop now I gained back that space so I purchased a container which holds files for each child. Their homework and any necessary paperwork that I need on a daily basis is in there. The rest of the countertop is empty and usually has my cell phone and anything that needs charging. We had a hole cut in the countertop with a plug inside the lower cabinet to do that. 

I felt like I needed something else on that counter to contain all the extra's that usually end up there. I've also found that if the space is taken up by something already, no one (myself included) will deposit the random Matchbox car or stuffed animal. I wanted some sort of tray but could never find one the right size. Then I made a trip to the dollar section in Target and found this tray.


Very girly but perfect. After some paint, paper and Mod Podge, it turned into exactly what I needed.




I'm so happy when something I make myself comes out better than I expected! Plus it cost me all of three dollars, tray and paper included! I already had the paint from one of those tiny sample bottles from Benjamin Moore. I'll show you how I did it tomorrow, really easy project. I actually did it together with my nine year old. She wanted to paint it purple, but I held her back. Maybe next time.

Feb 27, 2012

Family Room Mood Board

I've had my family room on the brain lately. As the construction is going on downstairs, I'm decorating. Here is what I've come up with. This is a wish list of ideas of course. We are going to be putting the wall of Ikea cabinets, the rest is still negotiable. I know I want a neutral scheme with pops of color. I see some sewing in my future!




Do you have rooms that you are working on. I'd be happy to help!

Feb 24, 2012

The walls are up!

Framing happened yesterday. There are now walls and if you use your imagination you can see the rooms. Shall we take a tour?

First up we have the door looking into the laundry room. The configuration changed from the original plans. The sink, washing machine and dryer will still be along one wall, but there won't be space for the Expedit in there so I'll be using another cabinet I already have for storage. The laundry will be kept in a rolling sorter that can move around and won't take up too much valuable space. I'll put open shelving above the washer and dryer.



This section is the kids corner. There is a closet on the right which will have shelving for all the toys. The Expedit isn't going to stay there. It will probably end up in the garage or utility room. Still working on that one. 


This section of the room will have a wall of two closets. The post you see in the middle divides the two. One will be a basement pantry since our kitchen pantry is tiny. The other will be M.I.N.E! All mine! Sewing maching, wrapping paper, miscellanous decorating odds and ends. Whatever my little heart desires. I'm sure I'll share some of it but for now let's just pretend I won't.


This wall will house our built in cabinets and wall mounted tv. This will be a big feature wall. The built ins are actually going to be a couple of pieces from the IKEA Hemnes line. They are made out of wood not pressboard so they can be made to look built in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one!


Below is the view from the stairs. The laundry room and kids corner are to your right, the family room section to your left. The double doors will lead into the utility room and storage room. The door to the bulkhead is all the way to the left, at the back of the house.



So there you have the latest. We are getting down to details and fine measurements now. I'm going to share with you tomorrow some of the decisions we made to cut costs and still have a finished look. Stay tuned!

Feb 23, 2012

Things are moving along

Today is day four of the serious work going on downstairs in my basement. Yesterday was a loud day with the last of the cement being cut and the exterior door getting fit. A storage closet we had down there was cut apart, and we now have this.




Here is the doorway that caused all that dust. We are going to have to call it Dusty or something. My kids seem to like naming everything anyways. Our cars even have names and my husband and I both refer to them by those names rather than by what type of car they are. I drive Puffy, my husband drives Jack. No idea how they came up with those names, but they've stuck. 




So the site of wood stacked up in the middle of the room and tools stored in the corner are a welcome sight. The framing is going on as I sit here and type. The window in the image below is going to get blocked up. That wall is where our built in is going to go. We will be buying some IKEA pieces from the Hemnes Series and finishing them to look built in. 


The framing should be done by the end of the day today. They will be putting up the walls dividing the main space from the storage/utility room. The laundry room will also be framed. There were some last minute changes there which I'm working on figuring out right now. It might work in my favor to finally get a barn door in there somewhere. More on that later. 

The three closets will also be framed out today. I'm looking forward to finally seeing an outline of what the space will look like. I have this uncanny ability to see plans in my head before they are completed. I can actually look at a floor plan and do a 3-D walk through in my head. When we built our last house I put the floor plan together. The images I saw in my head actually looked like the final product. So I have a picture in my head of how it will all come together. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are getting somewhere!

Feb 22, 2012

The most expensive mirror I never paid for

One day in late summer I was reading an email from my towns' listserv. I had to read it a couple time to make sure I had it right. It said something along the lines that a family was moving and had some things on the curb. One of these items included a mirror from Ballard Designs. I checked the website to make sure I wasn't daydreaming when I read which mirror was sitting outside, still in the box it had come in. They were giving away the Audrey mirror for FREE. Brand new, still in its original packaging.


I pulled my jaw off the floor and told everyone to get in the car. I might not have said it that nicely. I have been drooling over that mirror for about five years. I have been looking for lookalikes at Home Goods and everywhere else with no luck. Eighty nine dollars is too much for me to spend on a mirror, not matter how gorgeous it is. So I drooled on my own every time that catalog came in. And then I got the email.

My kids have never been put their shoes on and buckled in so fast. They weren't sure what was wrong with me, I wasn't really making sense at that point. I was probably just repeating the words "Ballard Design, mirror, free" over and over in disbelief. We drove across town and pulled up in front of the given address to find the mirror still there. All by its lonesome on the sidewalk. It was loaded in the car amongst giggles and glee, all coming from me of course. No cracks, no damage, it was in perfect condition. I actually checked on the side of the road. I'm a much calmer person that all this implies, but I've also never been handed an eighty nine dollar mirror before. 

So we brought it home and put it up. I knew exactly where it was going before it was even in my hands. I have a spot on one end of my living room that needed something. I just hadn't found that something yet. Underneath is a trunk that holds toys which have made their way up from the playroom. It fits perfectly in that space. The shape itself is like a piece of art. 





I realize I might sound a little nuts at this point but put yourself in my shoes. If something you have been looking at for years, hoping one day it could live in your home, actually falls in your lap, wouldn't you?

And to the lovely lady who let this go, Thank you , Thank you, Thank you.


Feb 21, 2012

The dust is still settling

Saturday morning our basement looked like this. 


It was still full of some items that we hadn't moved out yet. The work was mainly supposed to be outside so we were told to make an eight foot radius of free space around the small window in the middle of the picture. Notice how it is slightly open. Bad. Very, very, very bad.



We were going about our business upstairs. It was loud, since they were cutting through the cement foundation at that point. The troops were entertained watching everything going on outside the dining room window. Then I heard the carbon monoxide alarm going off in the basement. I opened the basement door to this.




Remember that little window that was open. All the dust from the cement cutter made its way inside. Inside the relatively clean but not yet emptied basement. Dust was EVERYWHERE. It even managed to make its way upstairs. Not as full scale as in the lower levels, but enough. Luckily our contractor came in with vacuums and fans and got most of the dust out. What was left to move had to be vacuumed and packed. That got done today so we are ready for the next phase. Hopefully that was the messiest part but due to the fact that I just typed those words out, I'm pretty sure I just jinxed myself.

Feb 20, 2012

The View From My Window

Yesterday morning my yard looked like it always does. The birds were eating at the bird feeder. The squirrels were picking up the scraps on the ground. Bunny rabbits were hopping around.



Fast forward a couple hours and we had pure chaos in my serene backyard. Trucks parked so close to the house that some siding was broken. Holes of soft dirt and clay that caused the before mentioned truck to become stuck. The smell of gasoline in the house from the trucks and the saw used to cut the cement in the foundation wall. Big huge pieces of cement steps lifted on a crane and brought much too close to the dining room window.









I'm really hoping this was the messiest day. Let's just say there is a fine layer of dust EVERYWHERE. The closer you get to the basement level, the less of a fine layer it is. All in all, the steps are in for the bulkhead door. The cut cement is going to be broken through tomorrow and framing might start on Monday. Regardless of the mess and chaos, it did make for some great entertainment!


Feb 17, 2012

Project Basement Idea Board


Pinterest has kept me very busy over that past couple of months as I've planned the basement out. I thought I'd share with you what is going on in my head. All the following ideas are via my Pinterest board. Some of the images are random, some are because I only like one thing about the image, and some are because I want a room exactly like the one I see in front of me, down to the dust bunnies in the corner. I'm basically looking for a cozy and easygoing look that does not sacrifice on style. These looks might not all happen, but since this is just the beginning of the project I'm still in the dream phase.
Enjoy!















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