Odds and Ends

Decorating a 20-something single apartment with used furniture and a tight budget.

Let it be known, folks: I hate change. I loathe it. Fatigue and fear both hit me equally when I think about the process of moving all my belongings down 3 flights of stairs and back up three more flights of different stairs in a new area.

But, two other feelings overwhelm me more than the former: excitement and creativity. Not only is this the first time I will get to live in my very own, but it’s a blank canvas to express myself through interior design.

Since this realization, my Pinterest board dedicated to apartment inspiration has been going CRAZY. But now, about four months to move-out date, I’ve started to slowly collect some essential items for the new apartment-to-be.

Standing floor mirror – $10 on an online garage sale.

standing mirror inexpensive on a budget

 

and, my latest thrifty find might quite possibly be my favorite:

Queen Size Brass Bed Frame, $75 online garage sale

brass bed frame antique queen size on a budget inexpensive

Quite a beauty, eh? I also snagged a comfy-as-heck queen-size ALL-WOOD futon for $150 at an actual garage sale. Not to shabby, I’d say. I’m at $235 for the furniture, and all I really “need” is a spine-worthy mattress.

With that in mind, I’m opening the floor to y’all! What items or must-haves did you wish others would have told you to buy when moving into your own place? What’s something you would not have survived living alone without? Can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

Easy and Quick DIY St. Patrick’s Day “Feelin’ Lucky” Bunting Banner

Hey there, all my crafty vixens!

February always seems to come and go so quickly, doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday I was figuring out what heart-shaped goodies to give my Valentine.

St. Patrick’s Day will be here before you know it. In honor of the holiday (and because I needed an excuse to FINALLY take down the Merry Christmas bunting banner… I know, I have holiday decor problems), here’s a quick set of pictures to give you some inspiration for St. Patrick’s Day home decor.

Specifically, a Feelin’ Lucky bunting banner!

Looking for a full tutorial? Use the dimensions and tips in my previous bunting projects: Give Thanks Bunting Banner, and Merry Christmas Bunting Banner.

I used a mixture of 60-cent scrapbook papers and laminated white burlap for the bunting flags this time, gold letters in a perforated pack from The Dollar Tree, and spray adhesive glue from Lowe’s to attach the letters.

Enjoy! What decorations are you rolling out for the Irish holiday?

Feelin Letters and Flags Adhesive Spray Glue for Bunting Banner

 

 

 

 

 

Lucky St Patricks Day Bunting Banner DIY Feeling Lucky St Patricks Day Shabby Chic Bunting Banner DIY

St Patty's Day Banner Quick
The St. Patty’s Day banner in the day time.
Banner St Pattys Day at Night
The full banner at night time.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day, Crafters!

To all my crafty, DIY-loving friends out there: I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and a craft-filled weekend!

I know what I’ll be working on this weekend…

Valentine's Day Hot Pink Puff Stitch Cowl Craft DIY Heart
Making more of these “puff stitch” cowl beauties!
Crochet Headband Easy DIY Project Flower Bow
… and making more of these headbands in other colors!

 

 

Valentine’s Day: What to Wear in Cold Weather

Well, just when I thought I could start putting away the mittens and bringing out the fabric scarves for Spring, Texas went and changed it up on me… again.

Thank goodness the weather isn’t as bad as #icemageddon we had back in December.

Now, I don’t have any fancy-shmancy plans like most lovebirds this Valentine’s Day, but one of the girliest things my blog followers will learn about me in due time is that I love dressing up for holidays. Yep, I had an outfit planned for next Friday. Judge me.

But, with the weather, it looks like my sheer top and fabric-pink scarf will have to take the bench while I scour my winter essentials for a suitable outfit for the pink-and-red holiday.

What can look cute, girly, and a touch of sexy without compromising warmth? Here are the essentials I came up with:

Tights

Polka dot ones if we’re getting specific. But really, any tights can dress up an outfit this Valentine’s Day while simultaneously keeping your legs warm!

Polka Dot Tights from Nordstrom

These beauties are available from Nordstrom at only $11!

The next must-have is LAYERS. Layers is the best way to keep your “little black dress” incorporated into your Valentine’s Date outfit without having to compromise warmth for fashion. So, with your black dress under, the next cold-weather Valentine essential is:

A Red Coat

Red Coats for Valentine's Day

From Left to Right: Betsey Johnson Wool-Blend Bell-Sleeve Cape from Macy’s, $110; Wool-Blend Pea Coat from JcPenney’s, $60; Calvin Klein Belted Hooded Buckled Wool-Blend Coat from Macy’s, $113.

The best part about your red coat is that with different lengths, design, and accents, you can transform your look from business attire to dinner date in no-time.

Lastly, give your outfit a little extra “something” with a unique accessory, geared toward the romantic holiday:

Accessorize with Hearts

Warm Accessories for Valentine's Day

#1 – Cashmere Heart Scarf in Black or Red from Burberry, $225
#2 – Red and White Heart Infinity Scarf on Etsy, $18.10
#3 – Black and White Heart Infinity Scarf on Etsy, $20.50
#4 – Heart Knitted Headband on Etsy, $28
#5 – Crochet Pattern for Heart Headband on Etsy, $4.90
#6 – Crochet Heart Headband Ear Warmer on Etsy, $20
#7 – Fingerless Hand Knit Heart Gloves from South Moon Under, $28
#8 – Betsey Johnson Beading Heart Mittens from Zappos, $22
#9 – Heart Pattern Fluff Woolen Touch Gloves from Mini in the Box, $8

So, there you have it. A chic, fashionable outfit for Valentine’s Day, without having to freeze your buns off for the sake of the holiday. Hopefully this helps spark some ideas from your wardrobe!

What “must-have” items will be in your Valentine’s outfit this year?

Valentine’s Day Decor – Valentine Tree

Christmas is well over, and it’s already February! This means that Valentine’s Day is almost here, and it was time to redecorate the apartment for another holiday. Now, either this is my most ingenious way to fill up empty space and reuse the Christmas tree year-round, OR this is my laziness at it’s finest. You decide.

Instead of breaking down the Christmas tree, getting frustrated while trying to stuff the pieces back in the box, and leaving the house plain and non-festive, I decided to try and make it work as a festive piece in my living room for each holiday.

The rose buds featured on the tree are actually molded, scented soap petals I got from The Dollar Tree, and the double hearts are a quick and easy Pinterest project with construction paper. I kept the red ornaments up and took the rest down, replacing them with pink, Valentine-related items. What do you think?

 

Valentine Tree

valentinetree2 ValentineTree

I decided to spruce up the dining table while I was at it, adding some pink and white artificial flowers to a red vase, and showcasing some glittery hearts on sticks I got from The Dollar Tree. Don’t they look like cake pops?!

valentine's day hearts valentine's day table centerpiece

 

Overall, I’m happy with the way this mini project turned out. I may not have a Valentine this year, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy making the apartment a little girly during the holiday with a festive Valentine Tree! PS: Now accepting applications to be my Valentine… if only! 😉

 

30 before 30: #14 – Go on a “Girls Only” Trip

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you have been enjoying your time off with loved ones. Time off has given me the opportunity to get caught up with overdue projects, which has finally allowed me a little time to update you on my travels in 2013, and the tasks I’ve accomplished on my 30 before 30 project!Read more

DIY Christmas Bunting Banner

Got an hour to spare this weekend before the big day arrives next week? Get out your holiday scrapbook paper and get to work! This quick, easy-to-make Chirstmas bunting banner is sure to brighten up your home during your holiday festivities!

DIY Christmas Bunting Banner

Materials Needed:

– Scrapbook Paper, 2 sheets in 3 separate Christmas-related designs/colors

  • Craft-Laminated Burlap

  • Jumbo-Sized Jute String

  • “Clipboard” Self-Adhesive Letters

  • 15 Wooden Clothes Pins

  • Christmas-Themed Ribbon

  • Two Clear Push Pins

  • Scissors

 

Instructions:

1. Cut the scrapbook papers and burlap. Make a template stencil using scrap paper or cardboard. I used this blog post for guidance on the dimensions for the stencil for my last project, the Thanksgiving Bunting. However, since “Merry Christmas” takes more letters, I decided to cut down my dimensions a little to fit the space better. You can see the dimensions I used in the picture below. Cut enough flags for the saying you’d like to hang, alternating the colors.

Bunting Flag Dimensions cut burlap flag dimensions Christmas burlap flag colors

 

2. Attach letters to the cut flags. If you’re able to find the self-adhesive “clipboard” scrapbooking letters, these will work best. Otherwise, find letters in lightweight material, and use adhesive spray to attach them to your flags. Keep in mind the color pattern you want when you hang them (Ex: mine was “burlap, orange white, burlap, orange, white…” and so on).

clipboard adhesive letters clipboard adhesive letters clipboard adhesive letters clipboard adhesive letters

 

3. Measure and cut jute string. If you can recruit a friend, family member, or roommate, have them help you measure out how much jute you will need to string the flags across the wall. I left extra jute on each side to tie bows and let the excess hang down in a light spiral.

4. Clip flags to jute string using wooden clothes pins.  At this point, I laid the string across my living room floor, and got to work. I spread out the flags, pre-tied the red ribbon into a bow, and spaced it out to my liking. Then, one by one, I clipped the flags onto the string, using my feet to keep the string taut as I went along. I used a pin to attach the bow, as well (this way, I can take the bow off easily when I go to change out the bunting flags for the next season). Let me tell you, once you have done this the first time, replacing flags in the future while the jute is already pre-hung is a piece of cake!

5. Hang banner on wall, using clear push pins to secure. Again, if you can recruit someone to help you, this will be easier. Use a tape measure to see where on the wall you will place the first push pin. Once the push pin is in the wall, tie one side of the banner around the push pin in a bow, double-knotting if necessary. Measure the next side so the flag hangs evenly. Adjust as needed.

 

And, voila! Easy-peasy, done-in-a-few-hours project for Christmas. AND, the Christmas bunting banner makes for a great backdrop for pictures!


Christmas themed bunting

 

Have you made bunting before? How did yours differ from mine?

Did you partake in any last-minute Christmas holiday crafts this season?

DIY Thanksgiving Bunting

It’s one week before Thanksgiving, but JUST in case you’re a last-minute DIY-er like me, here’s a quick Pinterest-inspired tutorial to spice up your living area for the quickly-approaching holiday!

PS: This is part of my 30 before 30 project (completing and posting 30 Pinterest projects before I turn 30). I used this pinthis pin, and this pin for inspiration.

Easy DIY Thanksgiving Bunting Flag Banner Picture

DIY Thanksgiving Bunting Banner

Materials Needed:

– Scrapbook Paper, 2 sheets in 2 separate designs/colors

  • Craft-Laminated Burlap

  • Jumbo-Sized Jute String

  • “Clipboard” Self-Adhesive Letters

  • Wooden Clothes Pins

  • Autumn-Themed Ribbon

  • Two Clear Push Pins

  • Scissors

 

Instructions:

1. Cut the scrapbook papers and burlap. Make a template stencil using scrap paper or cardboard. I used this blog post for guidance on the dimensions for the stencil. Cut enough flags for the saying you’d like to hang. Ex: mine was GIVE THANKS, so I cut 10 flags (3 orange, 3 white, and 4 burlap).

2. Attach letters to cut flags. If you’re able to find the self-adhesive “clipboard” scrapbooking letters, these will work best. Otherwise, find letters in lightweight material, and use adhesive spray to attach them to your flags. Keep in mind the color pattern you want when you hang them (Ex: mine was “burlap, orange white, burlap, orange, white…” and so on).

3. Measure and cut jute string. If you can recruit a friend, family member, or roommate, have them help you measure out how much jute you will need to string the flags across the wall. I left extra jute on each side to tie bows and let the excess hang down in a light spiral.

4. Clip flags to jute string using wooden clothes pins.  At this point, I laid the string across my living room floor, and got to work. I spread out the flags, pre-tied the autumn ribbon into a bow, and spaced it out to my liking. Then, one by one, I clipped the flags onto the string, using my feet to keep the string taut as I went along. I used a pin to attach the bow, as well (this way, I can take the bow off easily when I go to change out the bunting flags for the next season).

5. Hang banner on wall, using clear push pins to secure. Again, if you can recruit someone to help you, this will be easier. Use a tape measure to see where on the wall you will place the first push pin. Once the push pin is in the wall, tie one side of the banner around the push pin in a bow, double-knotting if necessary. Measure the next side so the flag hangs evenly. Adjust as needed.

 

And, voila! Easy-peasy, done in a few hours project for Thanksgiving. AND, it makes for a great backdrop for pictures!

Easy DIY Thanksgiving Bunting Flag Banner

Have you made bunting before? How did yours differ from mine?

Did you partake in any last-minute Thanksgiving holiday crafts this season?

 

Linking up with: Wow Us Wednesdays, And Sew We Craft, From Dream to Reality,

 

DIY Halloween Wine Bottles Decor

It’s that time of year, folks! As September crept by, I began to see the rollout of Halloween decor in all my favorite stores. Of course I made the annual grumble, thinking, “It’s still 100+ degrees out, how the hey can I get in the mood to buy halloween stuff right now?!” But, truth be told, I love Halloween and fall decor. Fall has become one of my FAVORITE times of the year, and I love the pretty colors that go along with this season.

So, during this time, I wanted to try out a new DIY project I had pinned a while back:

Decorative Halloween Wine Bottles

(It should also be mentioned that I’m a bit of a wine-o, and I admittedly indulge in a glass or two of red wine each night.) I took inspiration from here, here, and here, and got to work.

Materials Needed:

  • 7 wine bottles

  • Large pot for soaking bottles 2 at a time

  • Tempera paint in: red, green, white, orange, and black

  • Brushes for painting: a wide brush for base coats, a small brush for details

  • Halloween-themed ribbon (or black tulle if you opt for that look)

  • Krylon gloss finishing spray

 

Directions:

Step 1: Take off the wine labels.

Like an amateur, I attempted to just peel off the label on my first go. Yeah, that doesn’t work too well. So, I Googled some ideas and finally opted for soaking my bottles in a pot of hot (but not boiling) water for 15 minutes at a time. I noticed that adding some dish soap helped for the extra pesky labels.

After soaking, use a butter knife to scrape off the wet labels. It’s ok if some residue from the glue does not come off, but keep in mind this will keep your bottle from having a completely smooth finish.

Empty Wine Bottles for DIY Project Soak Wine Bottles to Remove Wine Labels Soak Wine Bottles to Remove Wine Labels Wine Bottle Removed from Wine Label

Step 2: Paint!

I noticed that the inspiration photos seemed to have a spray paint base, but let’s face it, I’m a college student, and if there’s a way to save money but have the same overall effect, you better believe I’ll find it!

I opted to paint both the base coat background and my designs for the Halloween wine bottles with Tempera paint. Plus sides: Super cheap, dries extra quickly to make coating to faster. Down sides: Goes on thin, so will need plenty of coats, dries with a chalky finish (I found the remedy for this downside, keep reading to find out), and can crack or get air bubbles if you don’t wait for the coat to dry completely before coating again.

painted halloween wine bottles

 

Step 3: Spray with Finish and Top with a Bow.

Because I wasn’t a fan of the chalky finish, and I wanted to make sure my bottles would last more than one season, I went out to the craft store and picked up some gloss finishing spray from Krylon. This stuff is great, since you can use it on practically any surface, and it leaves a clear shine to whatever project you’ve completed. Best part? The store was having a buy 2 deal, so I picked up some chalkboard paint spray from Krylon as well (to use on other projects as seen here and here and here!).

I decided on a cute small ribbon with Halloween colors that would go with all the bottles. I’ve seen some pins where people opted for black tulle, or even spray painted burlap black for a BOO-rific shabby chic look. This is a fun way to change up your halloween wine bottles decor look each season by simply swapping out the ribbon!

diy Halloween painted wine bottles

Halloween painted wine bottles diy project

(Please ignore the Christmas PJ Pants… I obviously have my holidays a bit mixed up! 😛 )

So, what do you think? Have you dabbled in any budget decor for Halloween season? What’s your favorite upcycling technique with wine bottles?

Until Next Time…

Oops, I’ve been MIA!

Hey there my dashing dears!

I meant to blog more these past few months. I realllly did! But I have been MIA: Missing in Action Adventure!

I’ll have plenty more scrumptious restaurant reviews for y’all soon enough, but I just wanted to give you a taste of why I’ve been virtually absent on here the last couple of months!

Late May through Mid-June

I flew back home to sunny California and had a great time catching up with family and friends.

20130527_144625 20130527_144642 IMG_20130527_170923 IMG_20130530_184922 IMG_20130531_213052 IMG_20130601_214446

 

In June, my girlfriends and I set off on an adventure: our first girls-only trip outside of California! We’ve known eachother for 6+ years, and were so thankful to have the opportunity to catch up with one another on a 9-day long trip to Maui, Hawaii!

I will blog more about that adventure later, but here’s a little teaser from our time in paradise:

Boarding the Plane to Maui aerialview jump threeamigos bay luau

And of course, after all the fun, it’s time to head back to reality! Since my return back to Texas I’ve been working, starting my first semester as a Senior in college (I’m set to graduate December 2014), and enjoying what my little college town has to offer!

Just popped in to say hello. I will be back with adventure catch ups and DIY projects SOON!