But here's the catch, I'm a cheapie.
I hate the idea of spending money on something I could make--even if my homemade version turns out to be a disaster!
During summer, my life is about 90% less busy since I'm not working and the kids are out of school/activities/events. This leads to long....looonnnngggg days that my daughters and I love to fill with creating something out of nothing.
I have been happy with how the last few of little projects turned out so I thought I'd share them with you. So, if you are also a cheapie but want to make your home a bit more personalized, maybe you can get an idea or two--or share some of your ideas with me.
Oh! One more thing. I am just not motivated enough to make this blog look fancy (obviously) so all of my pictures are taken on my phone and my house is far from "staged" or clean. So...you've been warned.
Table & Chair nightmare:
This is my favorite project. Our table and chair set had taken its share of abuse and I had to resort to using a tablecloth 24/7 since it had gotten so unsightly. Ugh...I sooo wish I had taken a "before" picture!
The problem was that this table is the center of our lives. We don't just use it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner--my kids use it almost nonstop for crafts, drawing, homework, play-doh, etc. etc. etc. The tablecloth was impossible to keep up with (keep clean, keep straight, keep ON...).
- sand everything thoroughly
- Chairs: use decent spray-paint (Valspar from Lowe's--glossy) to spray the chairs. Each chair took about 1 can of spray paint; about $4 each.
- Seating at meal time was always a fight. I decided to "assign" each family member a chair to eliminate fights over who sits next to whom, blah blah blah. I used craft paint to paint our initials on each chair, and the kids love it. Victory!! One less battle!
- Table: spent about $3-4 on a paint sample I had mixed at Lowe's. *Note: They only give samples in satin, so the gloss had to be a separate purchase
- After painting the table yellow, I noticed it looked like a huge canvas just waiting for some flair. I looked up and saw my shades...and couldn't resist copying that pattern onto the table. I used craft paint that I had around the house, and used a brush for the "stem" and a sponge to create the puffy flower affect.
- I bought a clear, glossy finish from Ollie's for $3 and gave the entire table several coats (allowing a few hours to dry between each coat).
I am thrilled that I turned an eyesore into a pretty statement!
Don't throw out the old throw pillows!A few years ago, the throw pillows that came with our couch were starting to look pretty shabby. Some even had suffered life-threatening lacerations from abusive little boys who got a hold of their sisters' scissors. I literally had them in the trash can when I had an idea to save me a TON of money (I cannot even BELIEVE how much throw pillows cost!!! Ahhh!)
I made slip covers for each pillow. These slipcovers were great because I could take them off and wash them. After a few years of washing, AND kids using the opening in the back as an opportunity to create pillow-hats, the slip covers started to fall apart.
So, since it is summer time, I thought another pillow makeover was in order. For the back (AKA generally unseen) part of the slipcovers I used really cheap fabric. I love the color and variety it added to the living room. I am also thinking about making fall/Halloween/Christmas slipcovers to add a festive touch!
Stairway to (Kids') Heaven:I saw this at a neighborhood friend's house, who had her grandchildren make handprints on the wall down the basement stairs. I just couldn't resist copying! Since the basement is our "kid zone", it is a perfect way to lead (and trap, heh heh heh!) the kids downstairs...
- I just used cheap craft paint, painted the kids' hands, and stamped them onto the wall.
- If you ever get tired of them, sand lightly and paint over.
And a *handy* way to finish the theme...
- I spray painted a large old picture frame
- I used decorative tape from Michael's to cover the dated pattern on the matting inside the frame
- I used craft paint and got each kids' handprint on paper, and framed. You can tell it was kind of a shoddy job, but still--I think it's cute and I think it adds character (read: I didn't feel like putting any more effort into it).
On the other wall of the stairs, I have these pieces of wall art that I made forever and a day ago. They are just canvases that I used painter's tape to create a design on, and then a small mini-roller to paint on top of the taped-design. I will say that there was some paint bleeding into the design, so I had to touch up with white paint and a tiny paintbrush. Since that was such a pain, maybe that is why I continue to keep these displayed after all these years. :)
Basement Beautification:Last year, I painted my basement a brighter color. The problem was, that the previous "decor" went with the neutral, beige colored walls. All of my wall hangings now looked out of place. I didn't want to spend more money on new decorations, so I just used a few tricks to update what I already had.
- Using decorative tape from Michael's, I outlined a few of my floating shelves.
- I also spray-painted some of my picture frames to add a pop of gold/yellow which was my new "theme".
My sister Karis helped me with these accent flowers. They are just scrapbook paper from Michaels that we cut into different sized flower shapes and used a pencil to curl up the edges to add dimension. We hot-glued a push-pin onto the back and pinned them all over the place, including this little mural here.
I also couldn't resist adding a pop of yellow to the inside of the arch here. This paint was a sample I had tinted...so I could avoid spending $$$ on a whole gallon.
You might also notice in the kids' play room that I have an easy way to display their constant flow of artwork. These are just painted boards with bendy wire (real name?) hanging down. I use paperclips to clip on artwork.
So... what are some of your favorite " design on a dime " tips?