freebie: kind valentines

It’s the week of Valentine’s and today, I’m bringing you a fun free printable for some kind valentines. I know, I know, I’m way past the school age where handing out valentine’s is expected but I just can’t help myself.

kind-valentines-free-printables-2

So, I made these simple and fun valentine’s in photoshop. They don’t have any names and they aren’t necessarily mushy. They’re just nice.

I thought it would be fun to hand them out kind of randomly. On a table at Starbucks, under someone’s windshield wiper, maybe a mailbox or two? This February 14th, I just want to make someone’s day.

kind-valentines-free-printables-7

And, here’s a printable for you. You can just cut them out and hand them out to anyone who could use some extra love this week.

kind-valentines-free-printable copy

Download the free printable here!!

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? J and I usually like to avoid the rush and hang out at home together, and for two home-body dorks, that’s mighty fine!

{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.

diy-no-sew-bedskirt-promo

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!

diy-no-sew-bedskirt-7-copy

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!

diy-no-sew-bedskirt-11

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

diy-no-sew-bedskir-corners

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!!

diy-no-sew-bedskirt-4-copy

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!!

get organized: craft storage solutions!!

I think craft organization is tricky for a lot of people. If you take your crafting seriously, chances are you have a lot of supplies with lots of little pieces and it can be hard to keep it all together and neat. Plus, I don’t know about you, but after I painstakingly finish a project, I hardly feel like cleaning up at all, let alone mess with some intense organizing system. I just want it to be easy and accessible.

And because part of getting the office cleaned up and into shape was getting my crafting accoutrements under control, I thought it’d be fun to share my organizing systems for the products that I have. I spent zero money doing it this past weekend and I feel like I know where everything is and it’s in system that makes sense but isn’t uber demanding. Win win!

Craft-Organization-Promo

Paper: When I buy colored/patterned paper, I usually go for the 12×12 sheets. It makes big cuts easier, but I often end up with scraps that are not small enough to just trash but not big enough to store with my full sheets. So, I cut off all the straggling pieces and put them together in a magazine filer to store. We bought these bright green ones from a Crate & Barrel outlet a while back and it works perfectly. I also use this filer to store any 8.5×11 sheets of paper. My big 12×12 sheets are kept in a large folder to keep them nice and flat.

Craft-Organization-11-copy

Craft-Organization-13-copy

Fabric: Fabric is another tricky one. Most times I end up with big cuts (1 yard+) and smaller scraps that I want to keep. I used to keep them all in a tote bag together, but it was bulky and impossible to see what all I had. So, I decided to separate them by size and use two different storing methods.

For larger cuts of fabric, I fold it nicely and use pants hangers to store them in the closet. You end up with less wrinkles and it’s much easier just to flip through and see what you’ve got.Craft-Organization-2-copy

For smaller pieces, I found this awesome cassette tape holder from Goodwill for just 99 cents!  I just fold up the fabric scraps, put them in the slots, and I can easily see every piece! Almost every time I go to Goodwill I find a cassette holder similar to this so it’s definitely a viable option for anyone interested! This could easily be hung to the wall, which I might do down the road, but for now, just the having the organized storage is enough.

Craft-Organization-17-copy

Ribbon: It’s kind of in the same vein as fabric. I store my rolls of ribbon in these boxes from Hobby Lobby. They’ve got a removable dowel inside to hang your rolls on and a window with a slit so you can just pull and cut. I bought them about a year ago, purchasing them one at a time with a 40% coupon on each one to bring the price down from $7.99 to less than $5.00.

Craft-Organization-(7)-copy

For scraps of ribbon, I use a glass jar for storage. It’s pretty easy to see what’s in there, and even though it’s not perfectly stored, I’ve never really had a problem getting anything out.Craft-Organization-15-copyPaint: I love me some craft paint! These little tubes of color get me every time I’m at the craft store! To make it easy, I just stored them in a plastic shoebox bin. They fit perfectly and it’s easy to grab the whole box and go.

I keep my paint brushed in an old coffee can that I covered with some bright orange paper. They’re always in the same spot and it’s easy to grab whatever brush I need. (Another totally free project!)Craft-Organization-(5)-copyRandom crafting: I also used the plastic shoebox method to store some miscellaneous craft supplies such as stamps and ink pads, crayons, map pencils, and glitter. They are things that I use but don’t have a lot of so storing them together makes the most sense.

Stationary: Some people might not consider stationary to be a craft but I’m a big proponent of hand-written letters and a funny card on your birthday so I thought I’d throw it in as well. I used these labeled cardboard boxes that I got from Wal-Mart over four years ago! They’re still in great shape and are perfect for storing cards and envelopes.Craft-Organization-(4)-copyI also keep any user manuals or product information for things we buy a third labeled box. I always know exactly where it is which makes finding information quickly a lot easier. Craft-Organization-(10)-copyAnd that wraps it up. Craft organization doesn’t have to be super rigid and extensive (unless that how you roll!). I find that easy groupings and using what you’ve got is more than enough to keep your crafting heart happy!

How do you store you hobby supplies?

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!

Embroidery-Hoop-Mobile-promo

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

Embroidery-Hoop-Mobile-1-copy

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!

Embroidery-Hoop-Mobile-(3)-copy

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!)

Easy Paint Projects (8) - Knife Block copy

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!)

Easy Paint Projects (15) - Thrift Store Find copy

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!
Make This Faux Cork Vase copy

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 decor switch to welcome in the new year!

Here we are on the very last day of 2012. It’s the time for reflection and resolutions, but I want to talk about what’s really important… decorations! (Just kidding, all the mushy goals stuff is scheduled for Wednesday!!) But honestly, I feel like New Year’s Eve gets the shaft as far as decorating goes. It’s right after Christmas and people are tired and just trying to get their holiday decor packed up, so I wanted to share a quick switch that celebrates the coming of the new year, but doesn’t really require a whole lot of effort: a resolution tree!

NYE Resolution Tree (6) copyI took down all of our special Christmas ornaments and replaced them with as many gold bulb ornaments as our tree could handle! I bought these shatter-proof gold and silver ornaments from an after Christmas sale in 2009 and they are perfect for achieving that glitzy New Years feeling! I also added some crazy glittery garland that I snagged from Hobby Lobby in my traditional “day after Christmas” shopping trip for $3.00.

NYE Resolution Tree (2) copyNext, I just got some squares of black paper and used a silver metallic sharpie to jot down some of our goals for the year!

NYE Resolution Tree (3) copyIt’s a super simple, cheap switch that is still festive and inspiring! With the lights on, everything glitters and it’s really motivating to look over and see my goals for the year staring me in the face.

NYE Resolution Tree (4) copyThe tree will come down soon, but I don’t like to pass up an opportunity to decorate! And since our New Year’s Eve plans mostly consist of staying home, cracking a bottle of champagne, and heading to bead around 10:00pm, I wanted to make sure we gave 2013 some recognition as it rolls in!

Do you decorate for New Years? What are your plans for tonight? Going out? Staying in? Let’s hear it!

a home spending embargo!

Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m super excited because I’m instituting a “Home Spending Embargo” from now until the end of October. That’s right people, I’m challenging myself and all of you to refrain from indulging in any and all frivolous, home related purchases!

Recently, I’ve been exploring “small and simple living” and what it really comes down to is only owning and purchasing items that are beautiful, meaningful, and good quality (simple, right?). Plus, now that we’re officially a two-income household, we’re focused on paying down debts and saving for a house and a pause on unnecessary purchases will help us me reign in frivolous spending and reach our savings goals faster!

So, for the rest of this month on TLC, I’ll be sharing some easy updates, free holiday decorations, and other ideas to curb the urge to spend! Tomorrow, we’ll be back with a super quick, free project that added a pop of color to our kitchen.