My Kitchen

Do you like your kitchen? I like my kitchen o.k., but it could use some updating. When I say updating, I mean cheap, affordable, easy updating – anybody with me? I don’t typically have a lot of cash to spend on my projects, so I have discovered one easy way to change my home is to use paint. I have painted my kitchen before, and it wasn’t an easy job. My cabinets were a dark cherry wood color when we moved in, and the walls were white. The floor is also a dark wood. I don’t like dark rooms, so I painted the cabinets white (which took me a whole week), and repainted the walls a red. Painting the walls red took several coats of a grey primer first. Without the primer, the red color was looking pink – YES, PINK. Can you imagine a hot pink kitchen? I couldn’t have that, so it took a lot of painting to get the red just right, but it was worth it. I loved the change, however, now I’m ready to change it again – can you believe it?

I like to change my home to suit my taste, and it seems my taste changes quite a bit – not good! But, most of the changes I always do myself, so no one suffers but me, and I’m ok with that as long as I am happy with the results.

So, this time around, I found a few inspirational pictures to use for my project on Pinterest.

I found several more images (follow me on Pinterest to see them in my kitchen pins), but couldn’t find a reference to give credit to the sources, so this is the one I decided to post. It is from alicelanehome.com. I absolutely love the blue and white color combination. I recently painted my family and living room areas with a light blue, and all the trim was painted white. My kitchen is open to these areas, so I wanted to add more blue and white, but decided to go with a navy blue. My bottom cabinets will all be navy, while my counter, walls and upper cabinets will be painted white. I found a couple of matching rugs on clearance that also influenced my decision to go with blue and white.

I love the pattern and color in this rug, and was able to purchase two, the large and small size. I am planning to start my project this week. I have already purchased my paint. The navy color is Glidden Rich Navy (50BB 08/171). I’m not sure how long it will take to finish this project, but I thought I would share some before pictures with you today.

  

Here are some of my lower cabinets which will be painted navy. Along with the stove area and the eat-in area seen below.

 

Some of my upper cabinets are mirrored, which I don’t like, and I plan to find some replacement doors for these eventually. I would replace them with either solid wood or replace the mirror with clear glass. These will be repainted white.

    

As you can see in the last photo above, I have a tall cabinet in the corner. This is my food pantry. I will repaint this white, but the bottom cabinets under the counter will be navy.

This area is a half wall that separates my kitchen from the front living area. I like the divider, and the blinds can close to provide a little privacy from the front room when my kitchen isn’t at it’s best (you know what I mean). This wall will be painted white also.

I have also purchased new knobs for my cabinets, and plan to make some type of curtain for the small window over my sink. I want to catch as much natural light as possible because my kitchen is on the back side of my house, and only has one small window. I would love to find a small stained glass piece to hang from my window and not have a curtain, but I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet.

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me. I will keep you posted.

Have a great week,

Easy Project

I recently shared with you a make over of my back entry. Well, I had a problem area with our electrical panel box. The cover is white, which matches my color scheme, but I wasn’t pleased with it showing. I decided that I should cover it, but it had to be covered with something that would be easy to remove when we needed to get to the electrical panel. I thought of a framed piece of art but the shape needed to be a long slender rectangle.     

I next thought about a poster. Posters are very lightweight, and poster frames are light as well. This was my solution, but I would have to find a poster, and buy a frame. Well, as it turns out, I went by Goodwill just browsing, and I found an old poster in a frame. It was long enough, but a little short in width. I decided to buy it and come up with something since it only cost me $1.99. 

This is the poster I purchased. I removed the frame which just slides off each edge – simple. I removed the poster, and cleaned it.

Next, I had to come up with my plan. I could have covered the board with really nice wall paper or wrapping paper that matches my back entry. Next, I thought maybe I could paint something, but decided I might mess that up, so I settled on using my printer.

Have you seen those prints and wooden pallet signs that displaying “Family Rules.” I really like those, and I wanted to buy one, so I decided to look it up on Pinterest. There are a lot of ideas about a “Family Rules” sign, and a lot of different rules depending on what is important to you and your family.

I liked several, but one stood out to me the most, and it used scripture references for each family rule. I decided that I could type these out using fonts that I liked and print them out on card stock. I decided to print them in various colors, kind of like a rainbow, and arrange them on my poster.

      

I know that some of these are hard to make out so I will type the list for you.

FAMILY RULES

Always Be Honest – Proverbs 12:22

Count Your Blessings – Psalm 34:1-3

Forgive & Forget – Micah 7:18

Be Supportive – Acts 20:35

Be Kind Hearted – Ephesians 4:32

Keep Promises – Romans 4:21

Comfort Others – 1 Thessalonians 4:18

And Above All LOVE ONE ANOTHER – 1 Peter 1:22

I had to paint the edges of the poster board white, printed my rules, and laid them out on the board.

                   

I replaced the frame, and hung the poster over my electrical box.

   

Sorry the pictures a not very clear, but the lighting in this area of the house is not good and I had to use a flash which created a spotlight in the picture, but you get the idea. You can see the before and after of the panel area. I think it definitely adds interest to the area. Instead of noticing the panel, you see this cute print when you walk in the back door.

I think that eventually I will do something different in this spot, but for now, this was a quick, easy fix.

If you have a printer, you have a way to create cheap prints and artwork for your home. Using various fonts and sizes can create a nice print, especially if you incorporate your favorite scripture verses too.

I hope I have given you a little inspiration for that trouble spot on your wall. Get creative with your printer, and make something you love.

 

Easter

 

Easter is almost here! I can hardly believe that this year is moving so quickly. I have been looking for some simple ideas for Easter decorating. I found several, but one in particular stood out to me, and I liked it for several reasons. First, it is beautiful. Second, the cross represents Christ’s love and sacrifice for us, which is what Easter is really about. Third, this is a project that can be made easily with few materials (in others words, cheap). And lastly, this could be hanging on your wall all year long, not just for Easter. See why I picked this project?

Remember this old picture I bought? I told you I had a project in mind for it.

All you need to make this project is a wooden frame (find a cheap used one), a roll of wide burlap (mine was lace covered), a glue gun, some ribbon for a bow in the center, twine and artificial flowers. You probably already have most of these materials.

The first thing that I did was remove the old picture from the frame. Next, I removed all the staples on the back and clean it up.

I painted it with some white acrylic paint, but you could use any color you like. I decided to go with a distressed country look, so I didn’t worry about some of the brown showing through the white. I painted the front and back.

Next, I measured out my burlap by pulling it around the frame in the area that it would be placed. I cut it leaving a little extra burlap. I’d rather have too much than not enough when you have to cut it.

I started by hot gluing one end on the back of the frame, then pulling it tightly around the front and gluing it to the back in the same area that I glued the starting piece, overlapping the edges.

You can see the finished glued edge on the top of the frame here. Be sure to pull the burlap tight and then glue.

After you glue the verticle burlap piece, you will need to tighten the center area where the two pieces of burlap overlap. I cut a long piece of twine and wrapped it around the vertical piece of burlap.  Pull it tight to cinch it, then tie the twine in a knot, and cut off the excess.

Next wrap the second piece and secure with the glue gun, and tie it off with the twine.

The twine will be mostly covered when you finish off the cross.

The next step is to make a bow with your ribbon. I used a neutral colored ribbon, but you could certainly add color to this project if you wanted.

I secured the bow in the center of the cross with a glue gun, and then I cut off my artificial flowers to glue behind the bow. For my flowers, I used some that looked similar to babies breath. You could glue actual babies breath on to the burlap. Small simple flowers work best. You don’t want the flowers to dominate the project.

Here is a close up of the bow with the flowers, and the finished project.

I love how this project turned out. I have mine displayed on our piano, but you can add a hook to the back and hang it on the wall. I made a hook by using a paper clip, wire cutters, glue gun and an extra piece of burlap. I bent the paper clip to make a “u” shape and cut off the excess. Next, I glued the wire to my frame with a glue gun, and covered the glue with a small piece of my burlap to finish it off.

I really enjoyed this project, and thought that it turned out really nice. It was exactly what I was looking for. I hope you give it a try.

Hope you have a great week!

 

D I Y Monogram Wreath

I enjoy hanging a pretty wreath on my front door, but I just can’t make myself spend a lot of money on a wreath. Most get faded way too soon, and have to be replaced. Because of this, and a small budget, I usually end up making my own.

The biggest dilemma is what to do in between the holidays and seasons. I just removed my Valentines Day wreath (which I paid $1 for), and want to replace it with something till spring arrives. I started searching for ideas on Pintrest. This is my favorite source for new, budget friendly ideas. I saw a lot of holiday and seasonal ideas, but one type of wreath just kept popping up – a monogram wreath. Monograms are so popular right now, and all the craft stores carry various monogram letters in different fonts. I already had a large letter “P” for our last name, and never did anything with it. I also have several grapevine wreaths that I save and change out for this type of project. I can ususally find one at Good Will for a couple of dollars or less.  Artificial flowers are available at the dollar store, so I always have plenty left over from projects. I search through my stash and found some that I thought would work for my new wreath.

I found a picture on Pintrest of a design that I liked, and used it for my pattern. This wreath had tulips, but since I didn’t have any of those, I just used what I had. This design is from the blog Sugar Bee Crafts, called the Spring Tulip Wreath.

I liked the burlap bow, but I’m not very good at making bows. I recently found a used wreath with a straw base. It was wrapped in a ribbon with an attached bow. I decided to reuse this bow on my wreath. This saved me a little time and stress because I didn’t have to make a bow from scratch.

I began by gathering all my supplies, a grapevine wreath, flowers, bow, glue gun, monogram letter, spray paint and twine.The stems of the flowers have to be cut to separate them from the bunch. Just separate each stem and cut at the bottom with wire cutters. Next, start arranging your flowers. I just tuck them in the twigs of the grapevine wreath. Most of the time I can get them in tight, but if they won’t stay, glue them with a glue gun. I tried to lay out my flowers on one side like the tulip wreath above.

I left room in the center to place my bow.

The bow that I had was already wired, but the wire was really thick and hard to manipulate, so I cut off the access, and decided to attach my bow by tying it to the wreath with some twine. The twine will blend in with the twigs.

 

You can see how I attached the bow in this picture. I added a little glue to secure the twine, and tied it in a double knot.

If I decide to rework this wreath at some point, it will be easy to remove all the flowers and the bow. That’s why I really like using grapevine wreaths. They are really easy to clean off and reuse again. I feel like I’m getting my moneys worth because I can use it again and again.

Here is what the wreath looks like after I attached to bow to the front. I think it looks pretty just like it is, but I wanted to add my monogram. I have had my letter for a while. It has been hanging in my dinning area. Kind of reminiscent of Mary Tyler Moore and her “M” on her wall. My letter was black, so I knew that I would have to paint it to use it in my wreath. I thought about color, and decided on white. If I take the wreath apart, I can use my letter again, and I thought that white would work best for that purpose. Plus, white will show up really well in my wreath.

It took about three coats of white spray paint to ensure a solid coverage. Since my wreath will be hanging outside in the elements, I knew that I needed to spray it with a top coat of clear enamel to protect it from water damage.

I attached the letter with some glue, but found it hard to get the glue to hold on the twigs of the wreath. I finally got it to hold, but just for security, I took some twine and tied the letter to the wreath. At least I know that it won’t fall off and break if the glue comes lose.

Well, here is the completed project. I am really pleased with how it turned out. I really like the fact that this wreath was completely free. I already had all the supplies. That’s the best kind of project, right?

This was an easy wreath to make, and it looks really nice on my front door.  It looks kind of like spring because of the flowers that I used, but you could make this with just greenery. I plan to leave this up until I make an Easter wreath, and after the holiday I will probably hang this one back out again.

Give this project a try. It would make a great gift for a friend.

Easy DIY Project

Do you like old plates and dishes? I absolutely love finding beautiful old vintage plates when I go out thrifting. I just can’t resist them. Usually they are very inexpensive. Good Will is one of the best places to find old stuff dirt cheap. I love to look through all the house goods, and find little inexpensive treasures.

I have been collecting old plates for a while, and knew that I wanted to use them for a plate wall. If you have never heard of a plate wall, it’s pretty self-explanatory.  Just choose your wall, and hang your favorite plates. A plate wall can be designed by color scheme or themes, or just a random assortment of great looking plates.

The one problem that I had in creating my plate wall was buying the wire plate hangers. If you are hanging a lot of plates, this can get a little pricey. My plates have just been sitting in a drawer waiting on me. Well, I found a really great blog post on a cheap way to hang plates. This tip came from the blog, The Frugal Homemaker. She has great ideas for decorating, and of course frugal tips. You can find this DIY on her projects page.

Here are a few of my collected plates:

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As you can see, I love floral prints, and the bird plate was a favorite find. I think I paid about a dollar for it. I tried to group my plates with various sizes, but similar content. All of these plates have gold trim, and three of the five have gold accents in the design.

The first step is to find your wall, and figure out how to hang your plates. I laid my plates on my dining room table, and started arranging.

Next comes the frugal tip that I discovered. You can make your own DIY plate hangers. All you need is some felt (white), glue gun and paper clips. You  simply uncurl the paper clip to make a hook.

   

Cut your felt in a small circle. Next, add glue to the hook on the back of the plate. Make sure that you are putting the hook in the right place before adding the glue. I wouldn’t want to hang my bird plate upside down. When you are sure about the location of the hook, add glue to the hook, and put glue on the felt. Press the felt on top of the paper clip hook and hold to secure.

        

This will not come off, so be sure that your placement is correct. When I purchased my plates, I knew that I would be hanging these and not using them for dining. If you would like to use your plates for dining at some point, then I would recommend purchasing the wire plate hangers. This solution worked perfect for me. My beautiful plates are now being displayed instead of sitting in a drawer. I have plans to make another plate wall, so I guess I will just have to go shopping for more plates!

               

Sorry about the quality of these photos, but you can get an idea of how nice the plates look displayed on the wall. I started with five plates, as you can see in the first picture. It just didn’t seem to fill in enough, so I added another plate to the top. The top plate has the sweetest Lilac print, (I love Lilacs)!

Have fun making your own plate wall.