make this: diy match strike votive

Sometimes the best projects are quick and easy and today I’m sharing a fun one. In a never-ending effort to declutter our apartment (and make it purty!), I’m always looking for ways to decant things into pretty containers. For the most part, labels = lots and lots of visual clutter. So, I made this cute match strike votive.

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Let me explain. I love me some candles. They immediately make me feel more relaxed and candle light makes everything look amazing, so you’ll find them everywhere in 816. What’s not pretty? Boxes of matches or those long lighters. So I turned some glass thrift store votives into a cute matches storage with an awesome twist! I put the striking texture on the bottom of the votive! Grab your match, strike, and bam! Your candle is lit. (Okay maybe it’s not that exciting but it’s still pretty cool.)

Here are the steps to this quick project!

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Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. It’s not a huge renovation or super crafty project, but it fixed a problem (removing the clutter of labels), made something a little more stylish (always the goal), and it is dang fun to just strike a match on the bottom of that glass. I’ve got three votives around the apartment for easy lightning quick candle lighting… you know, in case you need mood lighting stat!

What are your favorite quick and easy projects?

make this: gilded chair makeover

Grab your sand paper, staple guns, and spray paint because it’s makeover time!!! Don’t run away screaming though; we’re talking about a furniture makeover! (Unless you use sandpaper in your beauty routine, then more power to you.) But, today we’re going gold.

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My obsession with gold is pretty new. For a long time I was against almost all shades of the metallic hue, but now, I can’t get enough of it. From brassy to champagne, it looks amazing in pretty much any space.

A few years ago, I picked up this fun chair from a thrift store for five dollars. It had such an awesome shape that I couldn’t resist. And, because I was still new at the whole furniture makeover concept, I decided to go crazy. I painted it purple and recovered the cushion in this fun, bold yellow fabric. It was a really fun addition to our previous apartment, but in 816 (our new place), we’ve toned down the decor just a bit. So, for the cost of two cans of metallic spray paint and a yard of fabric, we made over this crazy chair into a fabulous place to park it.

gilded-chair-makeover-before

But enough stalling! No makeover story is complete with mid-transformation montage (a la every 90’s teen rom-com ever!) So, here’s what we did!gilded-chair-makeover-before (5)

The first step is pretty much any furniture makeover, is sanding and primer. I found this awesome paint stripping sand paper and gave the chair a good scuffing (no dirty jokes here, please!). Then, after wiping it down with a wet cloth and letting it air dry, we moved on to priming.

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Then, after wiping it down with a wet cloth and letting it air dry, we moved on to priming. Another benefit to priming when you’re going metallic is that it gives you a white base to build on. If I had just sprayed the gold over the purple, I probably would’ve ended up with a less vibrant gold or I would have had to do more coats. Just remember, white base = best!

I used Krylon’s metallic gold spray paint and it worked fantastically. Truth be told, one can would have done it, but I broke the seal on the second can for good measure. I’ve got a lot left, but what girl doesn’t want more metallic gold spray paint on hand? You know, for emergencies.

While the chair cured outside on our patio for several hours, I turned my attention to the cushion. No pictures here, because it was that easy, I removed the yellow fabric, and stapled the ikat fabric to the cushion. No piping or batting needed here! I would recommend going with a thicker fabric (mine is a duck fabric which is kind of like canvas). It tends to hold its shape and you can pull it very taught without distorting the pattern much.

And, here she is.

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The blue fabric is such a perfect compliment to the gold, right? And I can’t help but show a photo of the back of the chair. The shape is so pretty and I just love it!

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We’re moving along on my goal to get this apartment whipped into shape, and this lovely gal fits right in!

What are your thoughts on furniture makeovers? Worth the extra work or not? Do you have a favorite on of your own? Share below!

{I linked up at Home Stories A to Z!}

make this: the lazy girl’s diy bedskirt

I’m not afraid to admit that in the past, I have been quite vehement about never ever having a bed skirt. Traditional bed skirts just aren’t my thing, with their ruffles and often dusty colors. No. But when we moved into our new apartment, 816, we opted to sell our huge bedroom set in order to have a little more space in the boudoir. Because, even though our new bedroom is actually larger in terms of square feet, it’s basically a perfect square which means things just fit differently. So, we sold our first “grown-up furniture” to our newly married couple friends and picked up a cheap, metal bed frame from Wal-Mart. The extra space is glorious! The tacky, brown metal bed frame, not so much.

The first thing we tackled was making a DIY Upholstered headboard to frame out our sleeping quarters. Next, we picked up some new plush bedding. Then it was finally time to address the under belly of the beast.

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My focus with any project (as with any!) was to keep it looking like something I purchased and to complete it with as little hair pulling and money spending as possible. For this super simple, straight bed skirt, all three objectives were accomplished!

To achieve a similar look you need just a few things! First of all, fabric! I chose white tone-on-tone polka dots. It introduces a new pattern to the room but there are no crazy colors to clash with what’s already going on. Now, as far as measurements go, all I did was measure the three visible sides of our queen size bed which totaled 220” (60+80+80), which equaled just over 6 yards. Then I divided that in half! When you buy fabric, you usually get cuts that are folded in half. I figured I could just cut right down the fold and get the perfect amount of fabric for half the price! I would advise getting ¼ – ½ a yard extra, just in case!

You will also need iron-on hem tape, scissors, safety pins, an iron and an ironing board!

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The first thing I did was send my fabric through a wash cycle. It’s best to start out clean! Then I cut my fabric in half long ways to get the length I needed to wrap around the three visible sides of our bed.

All you do then is hem around the edges! When you’re done hemming the long sides, use your no-sew tape to hem the two pieces together, making sure the pair up the “nicest” sides (that way you get the best bottom edge for your skirt. I used two strips of the hem tape for extra durability.

Now, we dress our bed! Since we basically just created a wrap-style bed skirt, you don’t have to remove the whole mattress to put it on! All I did was scoot the mattress over, start in the back corner and safety pin the skirt to the box spring. I moved all the way around, safety pinning about every foot or so and then moved the mattress back into place!

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For neat corners, just wrap around and fold the top over. Pin and it’s perfect!

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And done! Easily completed in an afternoon. And the best part is, it’s easier to remove than traditional skirts, it’s customized to our décor, and the entire project cost less than $20.00!!

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Plus, it just makes such a huge difference! Here’s the before:DSCN1617

And then the after:diy-no-sew-bedskirt-copy

And, if you’re wondering about those cute yellow chevron pillows, “the lazy girl’s custom pillow” is coming up too!

Now that we’ve finished the office, we’re going to be spending a lot more time in the bedroom (in a purely decorating sense, people!). We’ve got plans for some big, DIY art and some major styling all on the cheap (but awesome) plan! So, stay tuned for that!

What sort of fabric projects have you been working on lately? Maybe curtains like our bleach pen designed curtains or our bold, striped curtains? Or something else? Share below!!

make this: bleach pen design curtains (+ office sneak peeks)

The office is nearing completion. Finally!! I’ve still got a few final touches to make but in the mean time I want to share, what I think, is a pretty dang cool project. You see, our office needed curtains. And bad! During the afternoon, the sun is blinding in there. It makes the room hotter and it is in the prime position of creating a glare all over Josh’s workspace.

The criteria for the curtain search was as follows: not girly, dark in color, not expensive. I checked out a few options at Target but ultimately I knew this was going to be a DIY challenge from the get-go. I already had a black queen size sheet that I had used as a table cloth for an event a while back. It was just gathering dust, not being used, so “bingo”! There is my material. But I didn’t want just plain black. That’s not how we roll.

So, how do you dress up black? Well, here’s how I did it! Bleach pens!!

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Yes, people, I used bleach pens to create a design on this fabric and then turned it into curtains. It’s probably one of my proudest DIY moments because I actually thought up this one (of course, that’s not to say that it might not have existed somewhere else before this, but I didn’t see it on Pinterest and recreate, I just did it!). And the best part is, this project was pretty easy.

So, if you’re interested in whipping up some of these bad boys, here’s what you’ll need: dark fabric (yardage will depend on the size of panels you’re trying to create. Like I mentioned, I just used a queen size flat sheet), bleach pens (two should do the trick), iron-on hem tape, iron, & ironing board. Yes, we went the no-sew route, which we have successfully used several times throughout our home decorating careers. You can find a great tutorial for that method here from Young House Love!

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The process basically boils down into four steps.

  1. Create your design. Layout your fabric on the largest flat surface you have (I just used our dining room table) and go at it. It is important to note that you’re dealing with a gel so you’ll need to work in sections. Let each section dry for a while (until you can see the bleach working and it starts to look a little crusty), then just slide your fabric to the next empty space.
  2. Wash, dry, and iron your fabric.
  3. Follow the no-sew tutorial steps. (Or, if you’re a bad-a, feel free to whip out your sewing machine and get all fancy).
  4. Hang and enjoy. I picked up two packs of those curtain rings that just clip  on the top and it was all good.

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Seriously, I love the way they turned out. I’d even go so far as to call them hip. But you know what’s not hip? Having to censor your photos because the mess could make your lovely readers run away in terror! Thank goodness for big black circles, right? You’re welcome! (And don’t worry, that mess is gone now!!)

In the finished office reveal, I’ll give you the full, head-on shot, but it’s hard to photograph windows well in the early afternoon, so now you have something to look forward to (right???). Oh, and if you’re feeling funky and you want to keep on the curtain train, you can check out this post on our DIY bold striped living room curtains!

Have you ever made DIY curtains? Do you have any cool tips or tutorials on awesome techniques? I’d love to see them!

make this: diy embroidery hoop mobiles

Good morning and happy Monday! We’re another week into the new year, and for real, I am blowing through my to-do lists and resolutions. The office is coming along quite swimmingly and we’ll get the details and reveal up towards the end of the week! But today I’m sharing another super easy project that plays up my new true blue obsession! Last weekend, I decided it was time to take down the falling leaves installation we put up before Thanksgiving and replace it with something fresh and new.

And thus, these embroidery hoop mobiles were born! Ya’ll these are so easy to make but they look insanely cool. They’ve got a hint of mid-century cool mixed with a modern, fun color! They play up our big canvas art perfectly and I’m in love with them! So, I imagine you’re now asking yourself how one would go about creating the awesome-ness that is these mobiles. Well, have no fear because I’m going to tell you and in about 30 minutes you’ll have your own!

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All you need are embroidery hoops in 3 different sizes. You actually get two pieces from one embroidery hoop, so these are super inexpensive to make. I think the whole project cost me about $5.00.

So, I bought 6 embroidery hoops total from my local craft store to make four orbs and everything else, I already had at home. But, to complete the project, you’ll also need a hot glue gun, ribbon (for hanging), and craft paint and a paint brush

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First up, I took the embroidery hoops apart, removed the little screw that keeps the two hoops together, and hot glued the split hoop so it was one complete circle.

Next, I painted one of each size in a bright blue. I wanted to leave the majority of the hoops with the natural wood finish and go with just one pop of color for each orb but you could easily paint all of the hoops one or several colors depending on the look you’re going for!Embroidery-Hoop-Mobile-(9)-copy

Then just hot glue your hoops together. I tried to make sure the brackets were at the very top of the orbs so you wouldn’t be able to see them jutting out while they hang. Start with your biggest hoop and hot glue the next size down to the very top at a perpendicular angle. Go down to your smallest hoop and turn it in a different direction so you get the orb effect.

Then just string them up! Keeping the brackets on the tops of the orbs makes this super easy! Just string ribbon of your choice through and attach to a dowel or shapely stick!

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Now, you’re ready to hang and admire! Another easy-peasy, inexpensive project in the books!

Since we’ve moved into our new apartment, 816, I think I’ve swapped out the hanging decorations in our dining room more than any other décor! It’s just so fun to think up new things to hang! First we had our no-sew paper strip mobiles, then the falling leaves, and now these fun embroidery hoop orbs!

What kind of hanging décor do you have in your house? Mostly light fixtures or do you get creative? I’d love more ideas and inspiration so share below!

easy paint projects to add some color!

In the midst of tackling all those big new years resolutions, I felt like it would be nice to share something easy. Just a simple, quick thing that can be easily accomplished without all the planning and stress of a big project (like our office!!). So, here are four effortless paint projects that can bring a little color into your home on the cheap!!

Easy Paint Projects (2) - Disc Magnets copy

1. Remember these easy wood disc ornaments I made for our Christmas tree last year? Well, swap out the hook for an adhesive magnet and you’ve got something cheery to add to your refrigerator! (We accidentally discovered that our door is also metal, so we started putting reminders and inspirational snippets there too!)

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2. My mom bought us this knife set when Josh and I moved into our very first apartment in 2009. It has definitely seen better days but new, fancy knives aren’t a priority right now, so I grabbed our basic untreated wood knife block and painted it a bright cheery blue! (Tip: I used a more glossy craft paint for this to keep it looking polished and keep any kitchen messes from staining!)

Easy Paint Projects (11) - Painted Cans copy 3. Recycling cans as storage is no new concept, but I think that giving them a ‘dipped’ affect by painting the bottom portion is an easy way to spruce them up. You could easily match your kitchen colors and make them a decoration, too! We use ours to store plastic utensils which we take with our lunches. (Tip: Stick your cans in the dishwasher before painting to make sure they don’t smell like last night’s dinner!)

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4. Truth be told, this little Eskimo couple is not a thrift store find. It was actually a little gift from my Grandma. Originally it was a dark gray stone, but I thought an icy blue would be just as appropriate and fit in a little better on our bookshelf.  So, the next time you’re at the thrift store and you see some funny, oddly colored figurines, ask yourself if you would like it in a different color? Just add a couple coats of spray paint in whatever hue you desire and you’ve got something inexpensive and customized to adorn your shelves!

Ah! The satisfaction of an easy and cheap project!

How are your new years resolutions going? Are you feeling the mid-January motivation slump? Or are you still going strong??

make this: faux cork vase

I signed up for a blogging course. To be more specific I signed up for the super awesome Business of Blogging course taught by A Subtle Revelry’s Victoria Hudgens. Today ends week one and just having the opportunity to really dig deep into TLC and focus on doing this thing right is really amazing. January was the perfect time to sign up, too. I’ve got all this momentum from the new year and I am ready to tackle those projects that have been loitering around on my to-do list and dream up new ones to share!

One of the assignments from this first week was to spend one hour doing something inspirational. While I would normally be tempted to run out and buy some new craft supplies or materials for a project, I decided to take a different approach this time. I spent this hour (plus a few more) organizing my craft closet and making something using only what I already have.

At first it was a little intimidating trying to pull a project out of thin air, but the deeper I dug into my closet the more I found and the more stuff kept popping into my head. (You’ve seen these office photos right? The mess is outstanding! I should get a medal of bravery for diving in!)We’re at the stage where mostly everything that our apartment needs to be “complete” is décor and style. So I’ve got lots of room for the fun stuff!

And to commemorate an hour of inspirational activity, today I’m sharing an easy, free five minute project made from only things I already had on hand. Make this faux cork vase!
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1.       All I need was a leftover piece of cork (from this jewelry frame project), a hot glue gun, and a vase. I also pulled out a silk flower bouquet that I made last spring to top off the project but you could easily go with real flowers or even leave it empty. Whatever works for you!

2.       Wrap the cork snuggly around your vase and hot glue to seal! I actually used a square vase (because I had it on hand!) and the cork is sturdy enough to keep a round shape, so you can really use anything! Maybe even recycled cans leftover from dinner!

3.       And to finish it, I just added an extra line of hot glue on the seam to make sure it was snug against the vase.

Done! Gorgeous! And 100% free!Cork Vase Cover Up (8) copy

I think I might also wrap a little length of twine around it too! To hang a small photo or maybe even a nice quote. It’d be something lovely to wake up to in the morning!

So here’s to spending less and creating more! I challenge you to make something with only the materials you have available at home! Feel free to share links and details below!!

why i diy

I thought I’d end this week with one more reflective post before jumping into the projects and posts for this year. My big focus right now is turning Two Live Colorfully into something awesome and in order to get in the right mindset for that I wanted to really tackle the question “Why do I DIY?” (Wow, that’s a mouthful).

Why I DIY 1Bright & Flowery Art from the 2012 Summer Pinterest Challenge

Going the DIY route give you more control. Maybe that pillow/art/whatever is awesome, but you’re not digging the color scheme. Or maybe you’re in love with a headboard or even some shelving that doesn’t fit the space you have. Doing it yourself allows you to get a custom look. If I DIY a project, even if it turns out as a stinker, I know that there is nothing 100% like it out there. It’s unique to me. And that’s a seriously satisfying sensation. (Obviously, I’m on alliterations today!)

Why I DIY 2Josh’s Colorful Classroom Makeover!

DIYing parts of my home also helps me to develop a more focused style. I feel like a lot of people have a hard time finding a cohesive style of their own (even though Emily Henderson is certainly doing her part to help us out! I cannot describe how much I love Secrets of a Stylist!), and not having a direction can be overwhelming when you’re trying to create an entire living space that works for you and reflects who you are. I know that I can go into a store and fall in love traditional, modern, and shabby chic styles but I know that throwing together store bought items from such varying styles can look a little crazy in my actual apartment. Getting hands on and making color and style combinations on your own is a really great way to find your distinct style for yourself.  Why I DIY 3

Easy Painted Wood Christmas Ornaments

And, lastly, DIYing is a productive, creative outlet. It’s like creativity with purpose. I know that I can take on a project and (if all goes well, which it mostly does) it can serve a purpose in my home. There’s a distinct ‘heck yeah’ feeling that comes with seeing the product of your hard work in action. Even the little projects. We’ve got some really fun (and budget friendly) projects coming up this month and all year and I can’t wait to get crackin’!

So, that is why I DIY. Why do you?

easy, cute, & free salt dough gift tags (+ present wrapping tips!)

Christmas presents have become somewhat of a sport to me. I love the challenge of finding the perfect gift for someone (especially if they are notoriously hard to by for like my dad, dad-in-law, and husband. And now that I’m a grown up and have a real job, I took the opportunity to really have fun with gifts this year. I won’t reveal anything yet to keep prying family eyes in the dark, but I’m pretty proud.

One of the things on my super fun Christmas To Do List was to spruce up our presents with some easy and cheap (my all-time favorite combo) salt dough gift tags (like these!). This project is simple, easy to customize, and saves you all that printer ink! Because even though all those printable gift tags are adorable, my printer’s poor little cartridge just can’t handle it.

For this project you’ll need 1 cup flour (plus extra), ½ cup salt, ½ cup water, a rolling pin, cookie cutters, and a tray lined with wax paper.

Salt Dough Gift Tags (2)

Mix the flour, salt, and water in a large mixing bowl until a smooth dough forms. I kept adding flour until it wasn’t sticky any more.

Flour your work space and use your rolling pin to spread the dough. I would estimate that I stopped at around ¼ inch thickness. You’ll want to make sure they’re thick enough to be sturdy after drying; not thin and brittle.

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Then, use your cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place them on your lined tray.

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Since it was my first time with this project, I just kept it simple with circles and used a tiny heart stamp to make an imprint.

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Use a straw to cut holes into the shapes so they can easily be tied to presents.

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Now, you wait. I let my tags sit for about 3 days, turning them over about twice per day to make sure they were drying all the way through.

When they’re completely done drying you can decorate them more with craft paint, stamps, or sharpies! I chose the latter and add names with a gold metallic marker.

Salt Dough Gift Tags (6)

And, here’s the finished product. For my presents, I stuck with brown kraft paper and made bows using different shades of green fabric. There’s something really charming about fabric bows and how they fray a little around the edges after tying them. Plus, if you stick with broadcloth or discount fabrics, you can get away with spending much less than if you went with fancier ribbons!

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I also always put presents in boxes if I can help it. Not that there’s anything wrong with gift bags, but I personally loving boxes and I think it adds a little more excitement to the unwrapping process.

2012 Present Suite (7) copy

And there you go. A super easy, practically free project to make unique and personal gift tags! What do you’re presents look like this year? Do you stick with a theme? Change it up from year to year? Or stick with the basics like kraft or newspaper? Share below!

glitter is the new red nose

Rudolph is getting a glamorous make over! We’re back today with another super easy holiday project! This glitter reindeer silhouette has been all over Pinterest and I just had to have it for this Christmas! I love glitter and, honestly, I just need more of it in my life!

And, what’s more, this is another super simple project! For this all you need is a small-ish canvas (mine is 12×12), glitter, modpodge, small paint brushes, a deer silhouette (I pulled mine off of google), and a pencil.

Glitter Reindeer Canvas 1 (1)

First off, trace the outline of your silhouette onto your canvas.

Glitter Reindeer Canvas 1 (3) Next, add a thin layer of mod podge inside the silhouette. I worked in small sections to make sure that the mod podge didn’t dry too quickly. I also used a chunkier glitter because I had it on hand, but I think that a finer glitter might work a little better for smoother coverage.

Glitter Reindeer Canvas 1 (4)

Keep working, until the whole silhouette is filled. For extra staying power, I used a clear spray sealant to cover the whole canvas to keep the glitter in place.

Glitter Reindeer Canvas 1 (5)

And to finish, I added a deep Christmas red border around the canvas to spruce it up. Done!

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Another, super easy project done and some extra Christmas cheer added to our home!

We’re now nine days away from Christmas so it’s time to start pulling out the stops! I’ve got the holiday cards in the mail, present shopping is done, and we’re almost done with our fun Christmas to-do list! Which of your holiday tasks remain?!