Sunday, September 23, 2012

Decorate on a Dime!

Thought I would share a quick tip for Decorating on a Dime!

Re-purposed frames! 

Remove old artwork.  Paint.  Distress.  Hang.  Done.

I used various spray paints and regular paints I had on hand and once they were dried and distressed, I finished each frame with a coat of pearl glaze.  It gave the frames a uniformed look and a very subtle shimmer.  I purchased my can at Michael's but you can find it at any craft store or online. 

The frames were hung over our bed for a quick and unique accent.  Total cost for this project was $0.00 because I had everything on hand.  But if you wanted to purchase the products, your total cost would be broken down as follows:

Krylon Short Cuts in Antique Bronze - $3.99
Behr Vintage Chic Sample in English Channel - $2.94
Rustoleum Satin Spray Paint in Heirloom White - $3.44
Folk Art Spray Finish in Pearl Glaze - $5.50
Sand Paper assorted pack from Home Depot - $5.97

$21.84 before tax for the whole project.  Not too shabby.  All products can be found at Home Depot and local craft stores such as Joann's or Michael's. 

And I totally eye-balled the frames when hanging.  A quick tip for hanging framed artwork or photos: Use toothpaste to mark your spot.  Apply a small amount to the spot on the object that will hang from the wall.  Press the object onto the wall exactly where you want to hang it.  When you pull the object away from the wall the toothpaste will mark the spot on the wall for you to nail.  Once the nail is in, wipe away the toothpaste and hang.  Done!

ALSO: I've had that lamp forever and decided to dress it up with a flower applique headband that I purchased for Olivia last Christmas that she refuses to wear.  Found it on Etsy for $3.00 and it works lovely as a lamp accent.  Can't beat that price!  

Happy Sunday everyone!

DIY Distressed Dresser

This is boyfriend's dresser.

The drawers are slightly off center.  They do not close properly.  And it was in pretty rough shape when we moved in together.  But it works well as a nightstand for his side of the bed and offers us extra storage space and since we do not have new bedroom furniture in our budget right now, I thought I'd repaint it.  I have a blue-gray, shabby chic theme going in our bedroom so with Boyfriend's blessing I decided on a pretty blue.  I've been using Behr paints lately and they have a great "Vintage Chic"line that I love.  The specific color for this project was English Channel and you can find more info on that color here. 

 After a quick sand and the first coat of blue, I had to stop mid-project to run an errand. When I came back I noticed how cool the first paint coat looked with the old, stained wood peeking through.  The brush strokes against the deep, cherry stain mixed with the vintage blue made the paint appear naturally aged.  I was digging the look so I grabbed my electric hand sander and got to work.  The electric sander is my latest and greatest DIY tool purchase and I am obsessed.  This thing kicks ass. I can sand an entire piece of furniture in half the time it takes with paper sanding and I find the end result to be smooth and more even.  This particular model offers ease working within tight corners and around edges.

I finished roughing up the corners and edges and went over the flat surface area a few times as well, moving in quick motions and going with the grain of the wood.  Once I acheived the distressed look I wanted, I wiped away any excess dust with a soft cloth.  The last step was to add a coat of polyurethane to the top of the dresser.  I wanted a slight shine and also to offer some surface protection. 

With the piece distressed and finished I set to work on the hardware.  I wanted a soft, pretty accent against the antiqued paint so I settled on a creamy, white spray paint.  I lined up each attachment and rotated between coats.  Two light coats achieved a weathered, vintage look and once they were completely dry I used a low grit sandpaper to roughen up the edges. 

I have to say, the end result of this project was exactly what I had in mind when I set out to complete.  Its a great feeling to see a project through from start to finish and have it turn out exactly as you wanted.  The dresser fits nicely into our room's decor which makes me happy and still offers Boyfriend a place to store his socks.  Happy Boyfriend, Happy Bedroom, Happy Now.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tip of the Week and DIY Custom End Tables

Greetings!  Sorry for the delay this week folks; after a lovely holiday weekend, Tuesday September 4th brought a day of firsts for our family:  Livy's first day of kindergarten and my first day at a new job!  Exciting changes are underway and these wonderful changes accounted for my lack of blogging over the last four days!  But we are back up and running!

With my birthday fast approaching, Boyfriend decided to surprise me early with a fabulous gift... A brand new, beautiful PINK laptop!!!  So excited to be able to blog from anywhere!  Lots of good things happening and lost of creative projects underway at Happy Now!

First and foremost, lets get moving with our (better late than never) Tip of the Week.  This week's tip involves simple organization and storage.  Lots of clutter and chaos make for a crazy and stressful house and when I get home after a long day, I want calm and relaxation.  As a way to keep the clutter down in our house, I've tried a quick fix over the years: lined baskets.  They come in all shapes and sizes: with lids, without lids, colorful, neutral, wicker, metal... the possibilities are endless.  And they are perfect for throwing stuff into on the fly for a quick and effortless clean up.

A few examples:
My upstairs hall closet.  Baskets are divided into hair items, body items, Livy items, towels, etc.  Simple and easy to locate.

My stairway.  Each family member has a basket.  If you have something that needs to go upstairs, but don't feel like running up just yet, stick it in the basket and grab it on your way up next time.

Random baskets.  Strategically placed throughout the house, these little guys hold anything from Barbie sunglasses to screw drivers and are great for quickly throwing something you want up off the floor and out of the way.

Olivia's book basket in her bedroom.

Our towel basket in the bathroom.  Close to the tub for when Boyfriend forgets to grab his towel.
Where to Purchase:  Anywhere from Pottery Barn to Kmart, but I purchase mine at discount stores such as Family Dollar and Dollar General.  You get more bang for your buck here, and baskets are often sold in sets of 3 or 5 and priced fantastically.  For example, a set of 3 baskets can be purchased at Family Dollar for the cost of ONE basket at Pottery Barn.

Simple. Cheap. Organized.  Happy.

I'd also like to share with you a project I finished over the holiday weekend that has been a long time coming.  At the beginning of summer, I inherited a set of large end tables and at first sight, I wasn't sure how to utilize them.  Long and elegant, they seemed perfect for storage because of their deep drawer size.  I already have end tables in my living room (purchased from a Salvation Army for $10 and re-stained) so the goal here was to find another place in the house that would seem logical.  I immediately thought of Olivia's new room.  Three-times the size of her room at our old house, her new room offers a ton of space and I thought the end tables would work nicely on either side of her full-sized bed.  And because of the deep drawers, I decided to use them to store things Olivia uses frequently and can easily access.  One table would be for socks and undies, and the other table is her junk drawer.  That's right, whatever random, small trinkets or toys that have no other place to go (necklaces that don't fit in the jewelry box, extra tiaras, markers, small stuffed animals, this kid has so many toys) can be thrown in the drawer and hidden away when its time to clean up.  Simple and easy.

So, I had the tables and I liked the style, but that dark wood just wouldn't do.  I grabbed the pink paint used for my DIY Girls' Pink Cabinet and got to work.  A quick tape and sand to begin, and the tops were finished and painted in three coats.  I left the bottom half of the dressers untouched, because I liked the look.

Now what to do with the hardware... it was too mature for little girls' furniture, so I tried painting it white, but I didn't like the contrast of the white hardware against the pink table tops.  Then I got the idea of using ribbon in place of hardware as drawer pulls.  Ribbon comes in all styles and can be purchased anywhere.  I ran up to Joann's and found some thick, pink ribbon that matched the paint perfectly.  I figured I would need a good amount of ribbon in case of a measuring mistake.  Joann's sells ribbon by the yard, but if you can find a spool that has been uncut, you can purchase the entire spool.  Look for clearance and sale pricing to save an extra buck.  Also, a great tip for Joann shoppers;Joann's is featured on Coupon Sherpa, an app available for iPhone and Android.  Great deals and lots of savings.

I just threaded the ribbon through the hardware holes and tied loose bows.  Simple and very pretty.  It really softened the pieces. 



I had the paint on hand and the ribbon was $7.99 with my coupon, so brand-new tables for Olivia's room for under $10.00.  Now she can get right out of bed and pick out undies and socks!  And the storage space in that extra drawer accounts for a lot less random toys strewn across Livy's room at the end of the day.  I've found that if I give her a variety of places to put away her things, she has a much easier time cleaning up.  Which makes for a very, Happy mom.

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Crazy, Busy, Happy!

Greetings Happy Now readers!  Just a quick update today to let you know that we have many awesome projects in the works that we can't wait to share with you!  This has been a crazy week with my Livy starting kindergarten and I've started a new job as well.  Needless to say, we are moving and shaking over here!

Over the long Labor Day weekend, I was able to get a few cool projects finished and those should be up on the blog by the end of this week.  Figured out a unique way to up-cycle old frames and also have some quick easy (and affordable) tips for organization that I think you'll like!  And Boyfriend let me revamp an old nightstand/dresser that turned out ah-maze-ing.

So lots to share and so much more to do!

Stay tuned and hope your days are happy-busy-crazy too!

School is cool~