Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DIY Growth Chart

I shared this tutorial last week at The Frugal Girls and I'm reposting it here today in case you didn't see it....

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to be back here at The Frugal Girls!  The last time I was here, I shared about our frugal mud room storage.  This time the location hasn't changed much....still in my mud room, but it's a new addition about a foot to the right....a DIY Growth Chart...made from materials we already had around the house!  (List of materials needed:  big piece of wood, black paint, white paint, number stencils, sandpaper if you want the distressed look).

I have always loved the idea of a growth chart.  Growing up, I knew a family who dedicated one of the doorframes in their house for this purpose.  It was amazing to see all the friends and family members who had marked their height over the years!  Currently, my mom has a spot in her house where she marks the kid's height when we visit - something my son always looks forward to.  I knew I wanted to have something similar in our home someday, but my main concern was of sentimental value - what would I do if we needed to repaint the room, or even move?  I am way too sentimental to paint over something like a growth chart!
So here's what we did (following the same basic steps as my numbered coat rack):  First, grab a piece of wood.  Any big piece will do!  We found ours in our attic, left here by the previous owners, which is why it is angled at the top - it's really just an old piece of junk wood.  We wanted a distressed look, so we painted the board black and then added several coats of white paint. 

Next it was time to measure.  Sooooo thankful for my helpful husband in times like these....I would much rather just eyeball things, but clearly for this project you need to actually measure, something I really don't have the patience for!  We decided where we wanted the chart to hang on the wall and knew that the first line would be 11 inches from the floor.  He then measured and marked each inch, making the lines longer at 6 inches and again at each foot mark. 

I used black acrylic paint to trace the lines and stencil in the numbers.  Since we were planning to distress it, I knew it was fine if everything wasn't perfect. 

A few coats of paint later and then some extra time to make sure everything was dry and it was time to distress!  We used the palm sander to rough up the edges and go over the whole front, giving it a little character.

All that was left was to attach it to the wall....which took a little extra effort since it is basically ginormous!  The kids were excited to mark their heights immediately...

and I am thrilled to have what is sure to become a treasured piece of family history!

I'm loving this new addition to our mud room!

Linking up to a few of my favorites!

DIY Club

It's so exciting to be featured ~ special thanks to...

thoughts,musings, outlet for frustrations

Friday, May 27, 2011

Porch Swing Makeover

This originally appeared when I guest posted over at Tatertots & Jello last week....I'm reposting it here today in case you missed it...

Today I'd like to share one of our most recent projects ~ our porch swing makeover!!

Built in 1961 and not kept in the best condition, our home has been a bit of a fixer-upper, porch swing included!  Here's what we started with when we first moved in....

Fast forward 3 1/2 years, and my little guy has changed quite a bit, but unfortunately the porch swing had not!  Since we were already in the process of repainting our shutters (which were also the country blue color), it made sense to give our porch swing a makeover too!

List of materials needed:  one old porch swing, sandpaper, paint (we used Valspar Lincoln Cottage Black), paint sprayer (optional....but we have a Graco SprayStation), stencils for lettering, white acrylic paint - I used DecoArt Americana's White Wash).
The first step was to take it down, clean it, sand it, and clean it some more. 

I knew I wanted to cutesy it up a bit by stenciling on a phrase, so we removed two of the slats to be replaced later.  Then it was time to paint!  I had chosen the color "Lincoln Cottage Black" by Valspar.  We used our paint sprayer for a few coats and a foam brush to fix any runs and get all the other nooks and crannies that were hard to reach with the spray.

My handy hubby cut down the new board to fit, and once it was painted, measured out my chipboard letters for me!  What a great guy ~ he handles any project that involves my arch enemy:  measuring.  My tendency is to just eyeball everything, so if it actually needs to look good, he measures it all out.  I first traced around the letters with a pencil, then over the pencil with white paint, and then filled each letter in.  I lost count of how many coats it took, but I think it was around seven, so a little time consuming, but not difficult.  (Of course, those of you lucky ducks with a Silhouette could crank that baby out in vinyl in no time!!)

Once the wording was completely dry, and the new board was attached, we could hang the swing back up in it's rightful place on the front porch.  I whipped up some pillows ~ I use the term "whipped up" very lightly...actually my sewing machine and I were at odds for a few hours, but she finally relented, and we are now back on speaking terms.  Anyway, I plan on eventually painting the front door red, so I used a fun outdoor fabric with some red accents and some red burlap for the pillows.  Since the pillows will be outside, I left the plastic packaging on the pillow forms to protect them from getting wet!  Smart thinking, right?  Well, they make a funny sound when you lean on them, but at least they look good!  Plus, I made the envelope type closure, so I can easily take out the pillow form if I change my mind.
*One quick note ~ I do plan on adding a coat of clear poly over the letters to protect them a little from the elements.  Although if I don't get around to it, we could always just say we were going for the distressed look. :)

So, there you have it, our porch swing makeover ~ I can't wait until all this rain stops so I can go relax on the swing with a nice tall glass of iced coffee in hand!

Linking up to a few of my favorites!

DIY Club
It's always such an honor to be featured ~ THANK YOU!

Ladybird Ln

Domestically SpeakingThe DIY Show Off

SAS Interiors

Visit thecsiproject.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Toy Room Art

Looking for an easy way to add some fun to your toy room?  Use your kid's artwork!  I bought a pack of multi-colored frames from IKEA and put one of Jackson's drawings in each.  My intention was to change them periodically with new drawings, but three years later, his scribbles are still there.

I hung them low on the wall so the kids could enjoy them.  A totally simple and frugal way to decorate!

And speaking of frugal, head on over to The Frugal Girls today where I'm guest posting about one of our latest projects!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Swagbucks Memorial Day Extravaganza!!

If you spend any time at all online, please tell me you are a member of Swagbucks!!!  If you haven't heard of it, or haven't joined yet, let me tell you a little about it.....basically you earn points and get to choose rewards.  There are many, many ways to earn points....the easiest is by using Swagbucks as a search engine.  There are also SwagCodes, Daily Polls, Games, Surveys.....the list just goes on!  My most recent favorite way to earn is by using their coupons.  Simply by printing coupons from their site and using them at your grocery store, you earn 10 points per coupon.  If you have been one of my readers for awhile, you know how I love my coupons!  Since I am using them anyway, why not earn some extra Swagbucks??

What do I do with all my Bucks?  Get rewards of course!  There are TONS to choose from, but by far my favorite would be the $5 Amazon gift card.  I usually save these up until I have a big Amazon purchase.....sometimes I can end up getting great stuff for free!  Holla!!!

In honor of Memorial Day, Swagbucks is running some special offers....

Swagbucks, the best place to get free stuff from searching and more is celebrating Memorial Day next week with a special Score Four and Twenty Swag Bucks promotion - they'll have 4 special Limited Edition collector's bills available, and if you can snag all four by the end of Thursday, you'll get a bonus 20 Swag Bucks. ALSO, this Thursday they're have a Swag Code Extravaganza, a day filled with fun, games and the opportunity to snag over 40 Swag Bucks worth of codes throughout the day. Be sure to visit Swagbucks all this week for opportunities to win big!

Search & Win

Not a member yet? Sign up through my referral link and enter the code MEMORIALDAY when prompted - it'll pad your account with an extra 50 Swag Bucks on top of the 30 that everyone starts with. Get started earning your reward points today!

Already have a Swagbucks account?  Since I ALWAYS get the Amazon giftcards, I'm curious to know....what is your favorite thing to redeem your Bucks for??

More Pillows & I'm Guest Posting...

Lately I've had this strange obsession with making pillows.  I think it's because they are one of the few things I can sew with relative success!
Here's the latest batch, made with a fun fabric and some red burlap (of course burlap!)...

My favorite part is the ruffle....I was happy with how it turned out....my first ever ruffle attempt :)

Want to know where they're going?  Well, I'll be posting about it here next week, but in the meantime, head over to Tatertots & Jello where I am guest posting today!!!  Woot woot!!  Jen's blog was one of the first crafty ones I started reading, one of the first blogs to feature a project of mine (laundry/mud room), and it is ah-may-zing.  It is an honor to be there today!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gallery Wall for Cheaters

I have always loved the look and concept of gallery walls, but have lacked the motivation and "expertise" needed to put one together.  Here's my "cheater" version of a gallery wall in our dining room....(don't mind the ceiling, it had some cracks and now needs to be repainted!)...

Super simple!  The hardest part is making sure the shelves are straight :)  Just arrange your pictures any way you want.  Our shelves and frames are all from IKEA, the Ribba line.  Bonus:  soooo easy to rearrange or change out a picture! 

I still want to create a real gallery wall in my living room, but for the dining room, this is doing the trick!

Linking up to some of my favorites!

Such an honor to be featured...

SAS Interiors

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Flower Beds

One of the projects we have recently completed is putting flower beds around our shed.  You'll be able to tell how shady it is back there....grass really doesn't grow well, so we had to carefully choose plants that don't require much sunlight!!  First we chose some perennials to base everything around - hostas, toad lily, and columbine, plus a few lilies of the valley I dug up from another area of the yard.  We then added some annuals for a splash of color.  I can't wait until everything starts growing and fills in a little more, but I think what we have done so far is a big improvement!



Yay for progress!  I especially love the stepping stones - gives it a little bit of a cottagey-feel!!

Next subject... have you seen GroopDealz today?  One of my favorite deals is back ~ the chalkboard vinyl decals!!  They are $4 for 4 decals, and this time you can choose oval or rectangle!  Seriously, I love these things.  They make GREAT labels, and changing them is as easy as erasing the chalk.  I used them for my container garden, and I think they make the plain old pots look adorable.  Go check them out!!

Off to work on some more outside projects....hopefully the rain holds off and we can get some more things done this weekend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Naked House

You may have noticed the lack of really exciting amazing great posts filled with unique ideas around here lately....well, there's a good reason for it!  We have about a million projects going on around here....a few for some upcoming guest posts that I am totally excited about....and a lot more dealing with general upkeep and home improvement.  Oh, the joys of home ownership.....especially when it's an older home that wasn't necessarily taken care of wonderfully by previous owners!  But, with all the hard work comes the JOY of having our own home, which we do really love!  I'll be posting about all our random projects, but for now, here's one of the projects currently in progress....

Yep, my house is currently naked....no shutters!  It's won't be that way for long though.....hopefully, at least!  (And yes, in addition to changing up the shutters, we'll be power washing the green nastiness away too).

In other news, be sure to head over to A Turtle's Life for Me today, where I'm guest posting ~ it's a project I had blogged about months ago here (when I'm pretty sure I was the only person reading my blog), but I went into more detail over there.  You'll want to check out Natalie's site anyway.....she has some seriously great stuff!  My current favorite is the Dress Up Headquarters she made for her daughter.....I can't wait to make one for Carly some day!!  Thanks for having me, Natalie!

PS ~ I'm trying out the extra large photo size.....what do you think?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!  Here's my two favorite reasons for celebrating....even if they are goobers.

So blessed to be their mama!

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